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Rifle-armed robot dogs now being tested by U.S. military

The United States Marine Forces Special Operations Command (MARSOC) looks to be the first organization within the U.S. military to be using rifle-wielding “robot dogs.” Other armed robotic K-9s have been explored by the U.S. military and shown off by foreign countries, in the recent past.

Eric Shell, head of business development at Onyx Industries which supplied the gun system for the dogs, confirmed to TWZ on the floor of SOF Week that they are in use with MARSOC. Shell noted that MARSOC has two robot dogs fitted with gun systems based on Onyx’s SENTRY remote weapon system (RWS) — one in 7.62x39mm caliber, and another in 6.5mm Creedmoor caliber. It’s unclear precisely how many other robotic dogs MARSOC may have at present, however, it appears likely that the two equipped with SENTRY are being tested by the command.

Video footage released by Onyx Industries showing one of MARSOC’s robot dogs can be seen here.

According to Shell, MARSOC’s four-legged friends are “doing tunnel work, as well as perimeter security,” but he could not specify where precisely.

The underlying robot dog doing this tunnel work for MARSOC is Ghost Robotics’ Vision 60 quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicle, or Q-UGV, Shell said.

Ghost Robotics describes its Q-UGV as a “mid-sized high-endurance, agile and durable all-weather ground drone for use in a broad range of unstructured urban and natural environments for defense, homeland and enterprise applications.” Vision 60 is designed for tasks such as remote inspection, Intelligence, Surveillance, Reconnaissance (ISR) missions, mapping, distributed communications, and persistent security. The company has worked with various entities to explore different defense and security applications for Q-UGV in the past, which you can read more about in this past War Zone feature.

Article: Rifle-armed robot dogs now being tested by marine special operators

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