Patron the dog may have a competitor, Boston Dynamics’ Spot. The US military will send one of two such robots to Ukraine to help a US non-profit organization clear the area of mines and other munitions, reports Foreign Policy.
HALO Trust, a demining company with several government contracts for work in Ukraine, will use the work to clean mortar shells and cluster bomb units in the Kyiv region. With a long arm mounted in place of the head, Spot can collect unexploded munition to a special pit. There they will be safely disposed of in batches of 50-100 shells without risk to civilians and all ten HALO teams in Bucha and Brovary.
“In sum, Spot is an effective tool for protecting people from danger, and the robot is often used to inspect potentially dangerous materials from a safe distance,” said Nicolas Noel, director of marketing and communications for the company.
During testing last year, the robodog showed itself well with small unstable shells, similar to those currently found in Ukraine. Therefore, experts hope that it will be effective in working with cluster munitions. Boston Dynamics has not commented on the transfer of the dog to the HALO Trust.
Spot can be taught to automatically perform repetitive actions without human control. For example, turn switches on and off. In a more unpredictable environment, such as minefields, it worked under manual control during last year’s training. The HALO Trust believes that they will be able to quickly learn to carry shells with the help of a robodog.