Technology

When the French Army trains with the Boston Dynamics Spot robot

The schools of Saint-Cyr Coëtquidan (ESCC), which provide initial training for Army officers, released a photo showing soldiers training alongside Spot. The quadruped robot is the first to be marketed by Boston Dynamics and it is the heart of numerous tests, whether in the industrial sector or in the Defense sector.

Scenarios made with and without a robot
During this exercise, which took place on March 30 and 31, 2021, the military did not only use Spot. Other robots were present such as the terrestrial observation drone Nerva developed by Nexter and its new Optio-20 which is a tactical robot equipped with a cannon. Also present were the THeMis ground drone from the Milrem company, the new ground transport mule from Nexter called Ultro as well as the Barracuda robot which is developed by the Shark Robotics company.

Three scenarios were produced by the students, who all have military experience, relates Ouest France: an offensive action with the capture of a crossroads, a defensive action by day and then at night, and an urban combat action. These three scenarios were carried out for the first time without a robot, then, a second time with the assistance of robotic systems.

Spot is not at its first attempt. The quadruped robot has already been tested by the Massachusetts State Police, in the United States, whether it is to help an officer to be out of danger during an operation or to collect information in situations too dangerous to send. humans. He is also currently being tested by the New York Police Department.

A mixed record
One of the ideas behind this exercise is to “make students aware of the challenges of tomorrow,” the CCHS said on Twitter. And it looks like the battlefield will become robotized as science and robotics advance. Carrying out such exercises also makes it possible to study what is possible to do with these systems and to study their limits.

The results of these two days are also mixed. These robots can help prevent deaths, especially during reconnaissance missions, explains Ouest-France. But, the military are slower with robots and their autonomy is also a constraint since Spot found himself short of energy during the assault.


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