The image above shows a quadrupedal robot — a Vision 60 unit built by US firm Ghost Robotics — that’s been equipped with a custom gun by small-arms specialists Sword International. It seems the gun itself (dubbed the SPUR or “special purpose unmanned rifle”) is designed to be fitted onto a variety of robotic platforms. It has a 30x optical zoom, thermal camera for targeting in the dark, and an effective range of 1,200 meters.


What’s not clear is whether or not Sword International or Ghost Robotics are currently selling this combination of gun and robot. But if they’re not, it seems they will be soon. As the marketing copy on Sword’s website boasts: “The SWORD Defense Systems SPUR is the future of unmanned weapon systems, and that future is now.”


The machine was shown off for the first time at the Association of the United States Army’s 2021 annual conference earlier this week. The conferences bills itself as a “landpower exposition and professional development forum” held in Washington DC, October 11-13.


Details about the partnership between Ghost and Sword are unclear, but Ghost’s quadrupedal robots are already being tested by the US military. Last year, the 325th Security Forces Squadron at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida became the first unit in the Department of Defense to use quadrupedal robots in regular operations. It uses them to patrol the base’s perimeter, navigating swampy areas that “aren’t desirable for human beings and vehicles,” according to an interview with Ghost Robotics CEO Jiren Parikh.


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It’s good to see the people walking the robots are wearing masks outside





It’s all fun and games until they mount a gun on top…



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