A robot dog armed with a sniper rifle was unveiled at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 annual conference in Washington DC recently.
The robo-dog called ‘Vision 60’ has been developed by the Philadelphia-based Ghost Robotics, a start-up specializing in legged robotics. Vision 60 robo-dog carries a “special purpose unmanned rifle” (SPUR) built by SWORD international.
Vison 60 can climb staircases, navigate complicated terrain, and recover from falls on its own. It has a maximum payload of 31 pounds. It can attain a top speed of 5.24 feet per second currently but Ghost Robotics claims that it will eventually gain the ability to sprint at 9.84 feet per second, or 6.71 miles-per-hour.
SPUR is a precision rifle with an effective range of 1.2km or three-quarters of a mile. It also has a Teledyne FLIR Boson thermal camera with a 30X optical zoom to aid night-time operations. Due to this capability, the SPUR can operate in both day and night. Weighing 17 lb (7.7 kg), it fires 6.5 mm Creedmoor rounds. Because of a special ceramic coating it has, it harder for night-vision systems to detect it.
The robotic weapon system is controlled remotely. It will only engage targets with permission from a human operator.