Netflix’s Black Mirror exposed the world to one of the most terrifying things of all time: robotic dogs that move and hunt like real dogs. The Metalhead episode of the popular sci-fi show gave us a glimpse of what the world would be like if it was taken over by robots. And it scared the shit out of us.
The original robot-dogs were developed by Boston Dynamics with such quaint names as BigDog, SpotMini, and Cheetah. Videos of these creations on YouTube have been freaking people out since 2007 and 2008, so when Netflix took the idea and militarized it, the result was very effective in a horror setting.
Of course, the biggest difference between the machines in the Black Mirror episode and Boston Dynamics’ harmless version was the addition of a human tracking capability and long-ranged weapons.
— Abraxas Spa (@AbraxasSpa) October 12, 2021
And this is where Ghost Robotics and SWORD International step in. The two companies have come together to create SPUR, the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle robot that adds a 6.5mm Creedmoor rifle to the mix.
The 6.5mm Creedmoor is a lightweight cartridge that replaces the NATO-standard 7.62mm round in certain military applications. In testing that began in 2017, the Creedmoor round was found to be twice as likely to hit its target as compared to the 7.62x51mm cartridge in the same rifles.
This new, more efficient ammunition spurred (pun intended) the creation of a whole new type of lightweight assault rifle, which is exactly what the robotic dog features.
The SPUR made its debut at the Association of the U.S. Army’s annual convention earlier this week, marking the first ever example of an unmanned robotic system with a giant freakin’ gun on top.
Perhaps the scariest part of this set-up to me is the fact that the mounted gun doesn’t even look like a mounted gun. I suppose that makes it less threatening, but it looks more like a head with a single eye and a long Snoopy snout. Let the nightmares begin!
Ghost Robotics reports that the SPUR is capable of precision fire out to nearly 3,940 feet with a stabilization system that is unique to the company’s Q-UGV robots.
So does this scream dystopian robot apocalypse to anyone else, or are you perfectly fine with our new robot overlords? Let us know how you feel about SPUR in the comments below.