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Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot tested in combat training with the French army

Boston Dynamics robotic dog Spot was one of several robots tested by the French army during training sessions at a military school in the northwest of France, The Verge and France Ouest have reported. It was used during a two-day training session with the aim of “measuring the added value of robots in combat action,”…

Boston Dynamics robotic dog Spot was one of several robots tested by the French army during training sessions at a military school in the northwest of France, The Verge and France Ouest have reported. It was used during a two-day training session with the aim of “measuring the added value of robots in combat action,” said school commandant Jean-Baptiste Cavalier. 

The exercises aimed to get students thinking about how robots might be deployed in future combat situations. The students designed three offensive and defensive missions, with Spot used primarily for reconnaissance. The scenarios were performed by students first without and then with the aid of the robots. Other bots deployed were a remote-controlled tank-like vehicle called OPTIO-X20 armed with a cannon and Barakuda, an armor-plated wheeled drone designed to provide cover to advancing soldiers. 

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This content is not available due to your privacy preferences. Update your settings Shark Robotics and Nexter Group, according to a tweet by the military school Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan. However, Spot manufacturer Boston Robotics had no knowledge of the deployment, a spokesperson told The Verge

Some of Boston Dynamics early robots including Atlas were funded by the US military’s DARPA arm, but the company has slowly moved away from its military ties. The company’s current terms and conditions bar them from being used to “to harm or intimidate any person or animal, as a weapon, or to enable any weapon.”

Still, Boston Robotics isn’t necessarily against using robots to take soldiers out of harm’s way, the company said, and is still evaluating that ide

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