Boston Dynamics Spot: The French Army Already Uses Robot Dogs

Boston Dynamics Spot: As in the ‘Metalhead’ chapter of Black Mirror season 4, imagine you are walking in the park with someone tomorrow, or you meet a friend, and a robot with 4 legs comes and tells you that you do not respect the minimum distance of safety between people.

Boston Dynamics SPOT

This actually happened on a 3km stretch in the river plains of Bishan-Ang Mo Kio Park last year, and several Spot units patrolled the area and released a recorded message to remind park visitors to observe the measurements from safe distances.

One of the “creatures” of the Boston Dynamics robotics company, SPOT is designed and animated as if it were a dog, surprising for its smooth movements and “smart” capabilities, such as the analysis of environments. It has built-in algorithms to detect an object or person within 1 meter of proximity to avoid collisions.

SPOT is also equipped with video analytics cameras developed by GovTech. His price? “Cheap”, about 75,000 euros each. An amount invested by the French army.

Robot dogs in the military

Spot appeared with the soldiers during military exercises of the French army. The robot was reportedly used for reconnaissance during a two-day training exercise, but the deployment raises questions about how and where the Boston Dynamics machines will be used in the future.

France’s main military school, the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr, shared images of the exercises on Twitter. He described the tests as “students’ awareness of tomorrow’s challenges”, including “robotization of the battlefield”. According to the French newspaper Ouest-France, the new soldiers carried out a series of training scenarios, including an offensive action to record a crossing, defensive actions during day and night, and a test of city combat.

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