The first military school of the French army, the Special Military School of Saint-Cyr, has unveiled images of the latest addition to its team of fighters: a four-legged robotic dog called Spot, built by the American company Boston Dynamics .
21. I deploy the robot to recognize OSCAR3.
Back in pictures on the applied research exercise organized on March 30 and 31 by EMIA and the research center. Robotization of the battlefield: making students aware of the challenges of tomorrow. #CapaciTERRE #Robots pic.twitter.com/HiZ2BFOZPY
– Saint-Cyr Coetquidan (@SaintCyrCoet) April 6, 2021
Spot, alongside several other robots, was part of a two-day training exercise and would have been used for reconnaissance.
“We’re learning about it like you are,” Perry told the outlet. “We are unclear on the exact scope of this commitment.”
After this story was published, a Boston Dynamics spokesperson reached out to clarify that while they were unaware of the specific training exercise, the company was aware that the French military was testing their robot. .
During the exercise, the soldiers simulated the capture of a crossroads, night and day defensive actions and an urban combat test, according to a French newspaper West France.
Spot didn’t exactly make a positive impression. According to the newspaper, the robot ran out of juice during an exercise and had to be transported. A photo in the newspaper shows soldiers carrying the bot’s inert body.
The news comes after Spot was seen patrolling the streets on behalf of the New York City Police Department in February.
The incidents paint a disturbing picture of where the robot could be deployed next. Its forays into the battlefield shouldn’t be so shocking: Boston Dynamics has a long history of developing robots for the US military.
The robot’s terms and conditions of sale prohibit it being used “to injure or intimidate any person or animal, as a weapon, or to activate any weapon.”
“We think the military, insofar as they use robotics to get people out of harm’s way, we think that’s a perfectly valid use of technology,” Perry said. The edge.
But it looks like Boston Dynamics has already lost track of how its robots are deployed, which isn’t reassuring.
Also, if something were to go wrong, who would be at fault?
Whether used for reconnaissance or in active combat, Spot’s future is anything but certain. Let’s just hope military forces around the world aren’t tempted to mount weapons on the robot dog’s back.
Editor’s Note 04/09/2021: Added a comment from a Boston Dynamics spokesperson stating that the company was in fact aware that the French military was testing its Spot robot, even though it did not was unaware of this specific exercise.
READ MORE: French Army tests Boston Dynamics Spot robot dog in combat scenarios [The Verge]
Learn more about Boston Dynamics: Boston Dynamics presents a new warehouse robot
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