HomeArticleOh Great They’re Putting Guns On Robodogs Now

Oh Great They’re Putting Guns On Robodogs Now

Listen to a reading of this article:

So hey they’ve started mounting sniper rifles on robodogs, which is great news for anyone who was hoping they’d start mounting sniper rifles on robodogs.

At an exhibit booth in the Association of the United States Army’s annual meeting and exhibition, Ghost Robotics (the military-friendly competitor to the better-known Boston Dynamics) proudly showed off a weapon that is designed to attach to its quadruped bots made by a company called SWORD Defense Systems.

“The SWORD Defense Systems Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle (SPUR) was specifically designed to offer precision fire from unmanned platforms such as the Ghost Robotics Vision-60 quadruped,” SWORD proclaims on its website. “Chambered in 6.5 Creedmoor allows for precision fire out to 1200m, the SPUR can similarly utilize 7.62×51 NATO cartridge for ammunition availability. Due to its highly capable sensors the SPUR can operate in a magnitude of conditions, both day and night. The SWORD Defense Systems SPUR is the future of unmanned weapon systems, and that future is now.”

Back in May the US Air Force put out a video on the “Robotic Ghost Dog” these weapons are designed to be used with, showing the machines jogging, standing up after being flipped over, and even dancing. All of which becomes a lot less cutesy when you imagine them performing these maneuvers while carrying a gun designed to blow apart skulls from a kilometer away.

At one point in the video a Senior Master Sergeant explains to the host how these robodogs can be affixed with all kinds of equipment like communications systems, explosive ordnance disposal attachments, gear to test for chemicals and radiation, and the whole time you’re listening to him list things off you’re thinking “Guns. Yeah guns. You can attach guns to them, why don’t you just say that?”

The SPUR prototype is just one of many different weapons we’ll surely see tested for use with quadruped robots in coming years, and eventually we’ll likely see its successors tested on impoverished foreigners in needless military interventions by the United States and/or its allies. They will join other unmanned weapons systems in the imperial arsenal like the USA’s notorious drone program, South Korea’s Samsung SGR-A1, the Turkish Kargu drone which has already reportedly attacked human beings in Libya without having been given a human command to do so, and the AI-assisted robotic sniper rifle that was used by Israeli intelligence in coordination with the US government to assassinate an Iranian scientist last year.

And we may be looking at a not-too-distant future in which unmanned weapons systems are sought out by wealthy civilians as well.

In 2018 the influential author and professor Douglas Rushkoff wrote an article titled “Survival of the Richest” in which he disclosed that a year earlier he had been paid an enormous fee to meet with five extremely wealthy hedge funders. Rushkoff says the unnamed billionaires sought out his advice for strategizing their survival after what they called “the event”, their term for the collapse of civilization via climate destruction, nuclear war or some other catastrophe which they apparently viewed as likely enough and close enough to start planning for.

Rushkoff writes that eventually it became clear that the foremost concern of these plutocrats was maintaining control over a security force which would protect their estates from the rabble in a post-apocalyptic world where money might not mean anything. I encourage you to read the following paragraph from the article carefully, because it says so much about how these people see our future, our world, and their fellow human beings:

“This single question occupied us for the rest of the hour. They knew armed guards would be required to protect their compounds from the angry mobs. But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival. Or maybe building robots to serve as guards and workers — if that technology could be developed in time.”

Something to keep in mind if you ever find yourself fervently hoping that the world will be saved by billionaires.

LinkedIn cofounder Reid Hoffman has said that more than half of Silicon Valley’s billionaires have invested in some type of “apocalypse insurance” such as an underground bunker to ensure they survive whatever disasters ensue from the status quo they currently benefit so immensely from. The New Yorker has published an article about this mega-rich doomsday prepper phenomenon as well. We may be sure that military forces aren’t the only ones planning on having eternally loyal killing machines protecting their interests going forward.

We are ruled by warmongers and sociopaths, and none of them have healthy plans for our future. They are not kind, and they are not wise. They’re not even particularly intelligent. Unless we can find some way to pry their fingers from the steering wheel of our world so we can turn away from the direction we are headed, things will probably get very dark and scary.


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Latest comments

  • So you got hundreds of guys back in Langley playing video games while robot dogs fire aerodynamically perfect 6.5 Creedmoor bullets at whatever. Also, plausible deniability for war-crimes (“It is well known that the Chinese have been cyber-attacking our robot soldier equipment, it looks like they were ore successful than we realized.”)

    This couldn’t possibly go pear-shaped, right?

  • Love your insight
    All mostly of these puny men that belong to the filthy 1% are weak and they need this monsters of big tech.. cause they cannot be humans like us, they r scared of people and masses when us the 99% are NOT the outcome will be at our side but regular people should stop using Goolag services, microsoft, facebook, instashi.., twitter and alikes
    Since they are tools of mass manipulation and brainwash the gullible and the majority of ignorants.
    Much to say but u are awesome Caitlin

  • So the rich want to use robots for self defense. Robots don’t build and maintain themselves. You need intelligent skilled technicians for that. And intelligent technicians are harder to control than muscle headed guards.

  • Caitlin, and freinds,

    ‘ “the event”, their term for the collapse of civilization via climate destruction, nuclear war or some other catastrophe…’

    I can’t tell you exactly when, but I can tell you how and why, and have to warn you, this is some profound Truth that will change your life.



  • Can’t wait for the newer models.
    Depleted uranium.
    Etc etc.

  • So now the Police Robodogs can shoot and kill suspects when their AI tells them they are being threatened, like when the suspect is black, right? I mean, they wouldn’t want to give that up in the Land of the Free.®

  • If you are an American Voter and you do NOT want More Of The Same, do not vote for another R or D, ever, no matter what an R or D promises!

    • “It is better to vote for what you want and not get it than to vote for what you don’t want and get it.”

      Eugene V. Debs

  • You have thirty seconds to comply……

    • Sorry, it was a software glitch, it paused 30 milliseconds to fire instead of 30 seconds. We apologize, but that doesn’t mean we take responsibility or that we need to reform the program. Shame your dad/son/brother/nephew/uncle is dead. We’ll send flowers.

  • So, Caity, when you talk of how our response to the psychopathic, billionaire slugs will determine the future for all of us, it sounds as though you are reading my Facebook posts, comments and explanations.
    Somehow, we the people must take back the power we, as a group, have ceded to them, or our grandchildren – let alone their own – will be lucky to have any future at all and certainly not a desirable one.
    PS On the topic of warfare, it sounds as though Arnold Schwarzenegger, of Terminator fame, would be quite at home in a world where machines attack humans in a war to the bitter end. Haven’t we seen that movie already – and, like so much of history, not learned a thing from it.

  • Everything going according to plan.

    • In Italy, the fascists have been rioting against vaccines. They already had their weapon.

      • Hey John.
        Do you know what a Polymerase Chain Reaction is?
        No? I didn’t think so.
        Do you know the difference between 25 and 40?
        C’mon that’s easy.
        Do you know who Kary Mullis is/was?
        No? I didn’t think so.
        Don’t defer John.

        • Your support of fascism is noted.

          • Kropotkin is one of my heroes John.
            You’ve probably never heard of him.
            Well, there’s clones of him running around in $uit$ and white coats everywhere.
            Silly buggers can’t backpedal now because they would lose any credibility they have.

            • You and his other clones are all antivaxxers. The socialists are provaxxers.

              • You left out a couple of words John.
                We’re anti experimental RNA, nano particle, force fed vaccines.
                We’re the New Palestinians.
                That must make you the new Zionists.

                • Cute deflection, but there are still no socialists that I can find who are against vaccines, and no fascists who don’t have a problem with vacines. Reality isn’t budging.

  • Imagine if all this technology were used to clean up and protect our natural environment. Imagine if the entire MIC were devoted to the flourishing of life, human and otherwise. Imagine if the MSM were about the business of educating people and entertaining them in an uplifting manner. Imagine if the corporation were redefined to prioritize the public good over private profit. The pieces of the puzzle of a better, more beautiful world are already in place. We need only develop the political will to put them together. But that’s a matter of construction, of envisioning and drawing people to a vision, and right now we have damn little of THAT. So on to the next outrage, the next SOB, the next focus of our deconstruction and denunciation. Feel like we’re getting anywhere with that?

    • But, that’s EXACTLY how, it’s been portrayed, back when they bothered lying about what we were paying for. Life-saving; protecting nuke workers, then anti-terrorist bomb squad or A-10 & Apache pilots… protesting against Reagan’s “Star Wars” at Rockwell International, counter-protestor extras, of specified gender, age, race & “types” suddenly appeared along with media, to remind us how US Patriot Missiles saved our courageous warriors and most loyal allies from evil Rooski Scuds and lethal nerve gas. We’d watched as they were all signing releases and loaded onto busses, once the cameras were off and company thugs unleashed?

      • Of course. All the more reason that we need a positive, constructive, viable vision of a better, more beautiful world, a vision that calls to our hearts and minds. Only attraction to such a vision can detach us from propaganda. Refutation of it, if that’s primarily what we do, (1) lets the propagandists set the agenda, and (2) draws us away from envisioning and promoting our own. We don’t disagree about the current state of things (indeed, I may think they’re worse than you do), only about how to free ourselves from it and move forward. My favorite posts by Caitlin point in that liberating direction.

        • We’d copied TXSharon’s use of FLIR to discern and authenticate methane leaks from fracking infrastructure; including gas that was purportedly being flared & an ethane well blow-out releasing LOTS more atmospheric carbon in 19 days, than EU nation’s entire energy use leaks in a year. But ANYBODY who’d fantasized that EITHER party would use satellite, drone, pigs or integral sensors to detect what their sponsors, investors, regulators or MEDIA is paid to hide, lie about, arrest or starve whistleblowers & echo-chamber blogs from ignoring, spinning, gaslighting would just be more blah, blah, blah…


          • I’m not talking about a party. I’m talking about humanity…you know, as in “us.” We seem to have lost the capacity, at least for the moment, to think beyond the sorry state and fixtures of the status quo. So the battles we fight are too small, confined to the turf THEY stake out. For good reason, what neoliberalism fears far more than socialism is idealism.

  • “But how would they pay the guards once money was worthless? What would stop the guards from choosing their own leader? The billionaires considered using special combination locks on the food supply that only they knew. Or making guards wear disciplinary collars of some kind in return for their survival.”

    Or, I don’t know, maybe create a deadly disease (see Marek’s disease: in chickens, but still, use your imagination) and retain for themselves the means to cure it or control who is susceptible. Like with a vaccine that needs constant boosters, for instance.

  • Can Amazon’s picker’s “robotic assistants” read performance telemetry from all those FitBit style sensors, detect any malingering, lassitude or uppity ideation? Deliver performance enhancing ECT treatments, real-time medication or attach “wages” for downtime or attitude remediation sessions (utilizing these critters?) I’m guessing, it’d be lots more grown up and pragmatic, to simply implant the sensors and have fulfillment associate contractors discipline & reeducate each other, then sell video for reality infomercials?

  • Interesting, and I’m certain very truthful. Are we entering the age controlled by machines? Is this the period prior to the end of this version of humanity? Is this what the alien celestials had in mind when they planted the humanoid seeds on Earth? Are we humans going the way of earlier versions of humanoids like the giants? Are the creepy wealthy and powerful elites really the celestial aliens? Are we experiencing the ‘They Live’ time in life where “the ruling class are aliens concealing their appearance and manipulating people to consume, breed, and conform to the status quo via subliminal messages in mass media.”

    How much time do we have left?

  • Well, DUH? What ELSE would ‘Murika do? Teach it to clean out 97 OLD fission reactors? Sniff infectious microorganisms at airports? Perform precision brain surgery? Fetch up baby Jesus from Herod or orphaned socks, lost innocence? Perform tricks in Times Square, while sniffing & scanning iris & skull shape for insurrectionists, terrorists & socialists? Wonder, how long before nasty little kids hack them from their phones?

  • Google article in NY Times:
    The Scientist and the AI Assisted, Remote-control killing machine.
    One to add to your files
    Gee… Homo sapiens are so clever!

  • The fact that anyone would see this as a good thing is utterly frightening.

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