The robot, successfully used for reconnaissance work while it was operational, ran out of battery during one of the exercises and the soldiers had to carry its 31 kilos of weight
A platoon of soldiers advances in column through a corridor to inspect a neighboring room with smoke. A common scene of military maneuvers in which, however, an unusual element appears: the yellow robot dog from Boston Dynamics preceding the troop.
This snapshot, shared by the Army officer training school in France, shows the latest military maneuvers by the cadets of the Gallic country in which future lieutenants experienced “the challenges of tomorrow” such as “the robotization of the battlefield “.
The Boston Dynamics robot was one of those used by the French cadets during their two-day exercises. However, his employment is especially striking since the Boston Dynamics company has been trying for years to distance itself from its relationship with the arms industry despite the fact that this North American company has a long relationship with the United States Army, despite the fact that in recent years their efforts have been found more focused on civil markets.
The Boston Dynamics dog was used in reconnaissance work by the French military during its two days of maneuvers. An acknowledgment that, in the case of building assault scenes (such as the snapshot shown in this article) may be the prelude to an armed confrontation.
Currently, the Boston Dynamics robot dog terms and conditions of sale prohibit it from being used “to harm or intimidate a person or animal, as a weapon or to equip any weapon.”
Also, in statements to The Verge, a Boston Dynamics spokesman assured “unequivocally” that they do not want “customers to use their robots to hurt people.”
However, Boston Dynamics does not close the door to the fact that its robots may have a military use in the future and points out that the company “is still evaluating” whether or not to prohibit developments (versions slightly modified to respond to different needs of the service) without weapons by military clients.
Currently, these robots are commonly used to access dangerous or difficult places in civil works, mining operations and other construction jobs, although they are also used by police forces such as the New York Police Department in the United States.
THE ROBOT DOG RUN OUT OF BATTERY
Meanwhile, the French military does seem to see the Boston Dynamics robot useful, although they also find fault with it. Speaking to Ouest France, a French army soldier assured that this technology saved his life during one of the exercises, which consisted of different scenarios such as an offensive action to capture a crossroads, day and night maneuvers and combat scenarios. urban. Some exercises that were carried out in duplicate: once without robots and once with the help of robots.
“During the urban combat phase in which we were not using the robots, they killed me,” says the soldier. “However, he continues, they did not do so in the exercise in which the robot did a previous reconnaissance.”
Even so, the robots seem to have a pending issue: the battery. Since, according to Ouest-France and can be seen in their photo gallery, the robot dog ran out of battery in the middle of an exercise and it was the men who had to carry the 31 kilos of robot during the rest of the exercise of fire.