Ghost Robotics unveils worrying ‘killer’ robot dog

Will the future be for the Terminators, these androids armed with heavy machine guns who decimate everything in their path? It may well be that reality will soon join fiction: society Ghost robotics just unveiled the SPUR (Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle), a Spot-type robot dog equipped with a sniper rifle. The aggressive looking robot was developed in collaboration with SWORD International, a company specializing in weapons of war. The latter specifies in a press release that “The SPUR can operate in a multitude of conditions, day and night”.

As impressive as it is terrifying, SPUR is already arousing the opprobrium of robotics specialists and researchers. The UN and Amnesty International (among others) have been monitoring the evolution of robotics in a military setting for years. The UN thus documented at the beginning of the year the first case of a killer robot (the KARGU drone, mainly used in the theater of operations in the Middle East).

Despite fears of a dystopian drift in robotics, it could be that SPUR narrowly escapes the category of “killer robots”. SPUR would indeed be a remotely controlled machine, and therefore a combat automaton rather than a truly autonomous robot. Problem, the company that makes SPUR is called Ghost ROBOTICS, and the hashtag “Robotics” is present at the bottom of the Twitter message. The (necessary) technical details of Ghost Robotics will therefore no doubt make it possible to know if we are really dealing with the ancestor of Terminator.

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