Today, robots are appearing in more and more fields, and the military field is no exception. However, compared with other application fields, armed robots in the military system are less likely to be accepted by people. Its shape, degree of autonomy, and regulatory rules are all important factors that determine whether it can be practically applied.
Recently, at the Association of the United States Army (AUSA) conference in Washington, Ghost Robotics demonstrated its dynamic quadruped robot and a series of defense-oriented payloads, which can be used in the military field, which caused fierce controversy.
Ghost Robotics is a company dedicated to the production of ground robots in the United States, and continues to provide intelligent solutions for commercial markets, public safety, military applications, and more.
It is understood that Ghost Robotics is equipped with a custom rifle for the military-ready quadruped robot, provided by the small arms preparation company Sword International.
”It’s critical to separate the degree of autonomy of the robot from the degree of autonomy of the payload,” said Gillen Palrick, CEO of Ghost Robotics.
It’s important to note that neither the quadruped robot nor the rifle it is equipped with is fully autonomous.
The custom-made rifle from Sword International is understood to be man-operated and fired by a remotely located operator. The quadruped robot is also human-controlled, and the operator navigates it remotely to get it to a designated location.
In addition, the robot is able to sense objects in the environment and perform avoidance behaviors, and can navigate around objects while remaining stable, even on uneven ground.
Currently, there are more than 20 organizations from all over the world using GhostRobotics robots.
”Some of our customers are using them or developing them for CBRNE (chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear and explosives detection), reconnaissance, target acquisition, confined space and underground inspection, mapping, EOD security, wireless Ghost Robotics’ military robots are a better choice for them than tracked and wheeled robots.”
In December 2020, the U.S. Department of Defense awarded the Florida State Court Qualification of quadruped robots from the 325th Security Squadron at Del AFB, the first unit to employ quadruped robots in routine operations. The quadruped robots patrol their bases and are able to navigate freely in swampy areas where humans and vehicles are inaccessible.
In addition, some of Ghost Robotics’ customers are special units engaged in classified operations in remote areas, doing very difficult and dangerous work. “What we’re going to do is allow them to use Ghost Robotics’ robots in military and other government agency applications to prevent injuries. That’s what we’re advocating,” said Gillen Parikh, chief executive of Ghost Robotics
. , Because the shape of the quadruped robot launched by Ghost is better than a new type of deadly weapon, combined with some sci-fi movie scenes, it caused a “uproar” on social media, and people held a certain rejection attitude towards it.
Therefore, the challenge for Ghost Robotics is how to make people accustomed to and understand the robot’s leg system in the next 5 to 10 years, so as to gradually socialize it.
”If our robot had tracks instead of legs, no one would notice,” Parikh said. “We just need to get used to robots with legs.”
So, should armed robots be used in the military?
”Before I joined GhostRobotics, I was unaware of the stress, turmoil and pain our service members are going through to protect our country,” Parikh said. “We’ve interviewed some special operators who can’t say what they’re doing, but When they talk about lost colleagues and comrades in arms, you can feel how amazing these people who we didn’t even know did to protect us, and we take it for granted.”
So, he believes, Ghost Robotics R&D The armed robots produced should have a place in the army.
”Our military protects our country, and every day military men risk their lives to do it,” Parikh said. “If they need it to do their jobs and keep us safe, I don’t want them to be without it. Our robots, any payload including weapon systems. If these military personnel save a life by having our robot when they need it, that’s something that GhostRobotics can be very proud of.”
If a quadruped robot If it can make a difference in the military, will it appear in the American police force? In this regard, Parick has a negative attitude.
He said quadruped robots could be used to detect dangerous goods and crime scenes, as well as to detect sealed and occluded environments. In addition, the relevant personnel can safely talk to the hostage-taking criminals through the quadruped robot. However, because the US pays attention to and strictly abides by the established rules and laws, the police will not be allowed to use such armed robots.
Talking about the future development of Ghost Robotics, Parikh said, “Ghost Robotics will always be committed to what it is doing, and will remain true to its commitment to the US and other countries’ government customers to help them do whatever they need to do and provide them with Any payload needed to help it do its job safely and efficiently.”