The secretive, AI-driven robot was one of many at the annual Oshkosh conference, in Wisconsin
Your robotic dog might need weapons training.
Robot dog armed with sniper rifle unveiled at US Army trade show
A robot dog armed with a sniper rifle was revealed on Wednesday at the annual Oshkosh International Show in Wisconsin, possibly one of the most security-conscious military equipment-focused shows in the US.
The Federal Law Enforcement Portal featured an astounding array of military robotics at the event. From drone hunts to bomb detection drones, there was the Marine Corps’ Shadowbot and a humanoid landmine sensor, while the National Autonomous Systems and Robotics Forum featured a robot that could be used to assess potential battlefield casualties.
But perhaps the most perplexing was a robot dog armed with a sniper rifle. The World Exhibitor Pavilion’s Robot Operating Area, which looked like a niche aerospace center, featured the robotic robo-dog with its camouflage cover over the mechanical muzzle.
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The “Sentinel Dog” was modeled after a Pomeranian mix, designed by a company called “Iron Odog” and loaded with a 4.5in (12cm) long “GPS-enabled heat detector beam.”
Despite the original domain launch in May, the Sentrol-Dog was taken from its grassy field exhibit and “captured” by people on a hook for a better photograph. It was likely carted off to the upcoming event “China Global,” where a growing “robotic dog” and gang of robots were on display to the Chinese government.
Other NSA-controlled robots showcased included the various loaded quadcopters used by the US military to patrol, search and assist emergency services. The “gold” was a monolopy telescopic “general mobility” drone the size of a flashlight with a range of six miles. A second wheeled octocopter drone, similar to the model in action at this show, was about the size of a five-year-old.
The US military is pushing towards using autonomous robotics and AI as robots enter more of everyday life. In July, the Air Force released a white paper on how its scientists and engineers had started to develop drones without pilots.
One of the main roles for drones is aerial warfare, and their most recent capabilities have been on display this week at the Oshkosh show. Earlier this year, the US military developed a range of drones for military use that can capture imagery of enemy enemies. They can assess for landmines, survey for explosives, monitor power lines and detect pollution.
Security has been strict over the last two days, with Department of Homeland Security and Transportation Security officials preventing visitors from entering the Oshkosh show, while others on Tuesday searched for weapons.
The show included other types of “remote” gadgets that could enable soldiers to battle. They include high-definition camera-equipped radio control stations and radio transmitters that offer critical information to a soldier or soldier at sea.
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This story has been updated to clarify that the “sentinel dog” was not at this year’s Oshkosh International Show.