The Buzz

Robot Dogs: Is the U.S. Marine Corps Developing the Ultimate Weapon?

The Marine Corps is testing a four-legged robotic dog designed to travel alongside dismounted units and explore dangerous combat situations in order to reduce risk to forces on-the-move, PC World reported. 

The new prototype robot, called Spot, is made by Google X's Boston Dynamics.

"Spot weighs about 70kgs, is electrically operated and walks on four hydraulically-actuated legs. Its controlled via wireless by an operator who can be up to 500 meters away," PC World's report stated.

The testing, which took place at Marine Corps Base Quantico, Va., assessed the robot-dog in a variety of tactical situations such as transversing hills, woodland and urban areas.  

Take a look at this video of Spot by Boston Dynamics (see bottom of article).

Spot is outfitted with laser imaging sensors designed to detect threats ahead of units on patrol, PC World explained. The concept is to reduce risks to Marines by sending a robot equipped with sensors into a dangerous, high-risk area to detect for enemy fighters, improvised explosive devices and other threats. 

The testing, research and construction of the Spot was funded by the Marine Corps Warfighting Lab and the Pentagon's research arm called the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the report said. 

Kris Osborn became the Managing Editor of Scout Warrior in August of 2015. His role with Scout.com includes managing content on the Scout Warrior site and generating independently sourced original material. Scout Warrior is aimed at providing engaging, substantial military-specific content covering a range of key areas such as weapons, emerging or next-generation technologies and issues of relevance to the military. Just prior to coming to Scout Warrior, Osborn served as an Associate Editor at the Military.com. This story originally appeared in Scout Warrior. 

Image: Flickr/Marine Corps.