These are the Q-UGV killer robot dogs that the United States Marine Corps is evaluating

The Marines could be the first US military force to adopt the use of robot dogs armed with rifles. US Marine Corps Forces Special Operations Command, MARSOC for its acronym in English, is evaluating a new generation of robotic “dogs” developed by Ghost Robotics and equipped with weapons systems from the defense technology company Onyx Industries.

According to The War Zone, MARSOC is testing two robotic dogs with firearm systems based on the Remote Weapon System, RWS, SENTRY of Onyx, one with a 7.62×39 mm caliber and another with a 6.5 mm Creedmoor caliber. These Ghost Robotics Unmanned Quadruped Land Vehicles, Q-UGVare being tested for various purposes, including recognition and surveillancebut what is most striking is the ability to equip them with weapons to fight remotely while being controlled by an operator.

The RWS SENTRY combines Onyx's X360 Pan/Tilt Gimbal stack, which provides full electro-optical/infrared capability, a digital imaging system, DIS, with AI and what the company calls RAW, acronym for Remotely Operated Weapon. According to Onyx, the RAW, in its various calibers, accepts standard size magazines and drums.

Armed Q-UGV, in testing by the Marine Corps.Onyx.

The system allows Automatically detect and track people, drones or vehicles, reporting potential targets to a human operator which can be located anywhere in the world. SENTRY depends on it for the decision to fire and cannot decide to do it autonomously.

RWS SENTRY is mounted on the quadruped Ghost Robotics Vision 60, which is a 'rugged, agile and durable all-weather medium-sized terrestrial drone for use in a wide range of urban and unstructured natural environments for defense, national and enterprise applications', according to the manufacturer. Vision 60 is designed for tasks such as remote inspection, intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance (ISR), mapping, communications and security missions.

'This collaboration is intended to revolutionize the way we approach unmanned defense technologyimproving accuracy and security across all platforms,' Onyx said in a LinkedIn post.

According to Ghost Robotics, even in unfamiliar environments or if vision sensors malfunction, their quadruped robots demonstrate remarkable resistance. They are designed to recover quickly from slips and falls, which guarantees uninterrupted movement. The company is working on refining its ability to navigate various terrains, encompassing walking, running, crawling, climbing and even swimming.

V60 quadruped robot.
V60 quadruped robot.Ghost Robotics.

For MARSOC it is very useful, in complex operations, that can reach small spaces inaccessible to humans, thereby improving field intelligence and reconnaissance capabilities. And it also mitigates the risks inherent in certain operations, such as navigating narrow tunnels and trenches where close combat poses a significant danger.

These mechanized units also excel in clearing mined or booby-trapped areas, a critical function for safe advancement. At MARSOC, robot dogs are dedicated to 'do work in tunnels, as well as perimeter security'Eric Shell, head of business development at Onyx Industries, told the outlet.