Marines Have a New Recruit…Robo Dog

DeShawn Smith, Staff Reporter

A new Marine goes through basic training…what’s so special about that? This new “Marine” is a robotic dog. Boston Dynamics have created a robot dog named “Spot” that is currently working with Marines in basic training. The dog is being used for field trials, according to tech website Ars Technica.

The hydraulic- articulated robo-dog can maneuver through difficult terrains with ease and has a strong stable balance, even after being kicked, as demonstrated in promotional videos by the company available on YouTube. The “dog” can climb hills and stairs, walk over stones and sticks, and can navigate through a group of trees. It was sent to Quantico, Virginia to work alongside the Marine Corps in combat training.

Spot, the robot dog is one of many Boston Dynamics’ creations. Spot weighs 160 pounds (73 kg), which is the same weight as a great dane. It’s a smaller version of Boston Dynamics’ Big Dog, a 240 pound, all terrain 4-legged beast, that looks like a rhino compared to spot.

According to the company, the dog is electrically powered and moves using hydraulic pumps and valves. His head is made of sensors so the dog know where it is going and so that it doesn’t crash into any obstacles or stumble.The sensor also helps the dog support itself after sustaining hits from an enemy.

Even though the marines won’t use Spot for war, according to Popular Science, he will still be in training with the marines, just to see what the marines need from a robot. They use this robots because they don’t die in a tragic matter. It’s just a matter of time until robots, like spot, will fight alongside mankind in battle.