The four-legged robot dog Spot from Boston Dynamics took part in the military exercises of the French army. For two weeks, the soldiers have been practicing several tasks:
- Defensive actions during night and day
- Offensive action capturing a crossroads
- Urban combat test
Each scenario was first performed with exclusively people's participation, and then together with robots to see how they affect the battle.
Pictures of the exercises were shared on Twitter by French military school, the École Spéciale Militaire de Saint-Cyr. They assume that Spot was used as a scout.
"During the urban combat phase where we weren't using robots, I died. But I didn't die when we had the robot do a recce first," said one of the soldiers.
However, it was not possible to avoid incidents. During one of the exercises, the robot was discharged, and people had to drag their 30-kilogram robot companion on their backs.
Boston Dynamics clarified that the company was not notified of Spot's participation in military exercises and claimed that all buyers sign an agreement according to which the robot cannot harm people.
Spot was not the only robot the French army tried to befriend.
They also used the OPTIO-X20, a remote-controlled vehicle with tank tracks and an automatic cannon, built by the Estonian company Milrem Robotics; ULTRO, a wheeled "robot mule" designed to transport equipment; and Barakuda, a multipurpose wheeled drone that can provide mobile cover for soldiers with attached armor plating.