The tiny robot looks like your average autonomous vacuum cleaner — just another little black box rolling on the floor, until you realize: this Roomba-like creature is packing heat.
An Israeli company has created a small remote-controlled robot designed for law enforcement and military use that is capable of firing a pistol, specifically for use in hostage rescue and counterterrorism operations.
The Dogo, as the 26.5 pound (12 kilogram) robot is known, was created by the Israeli corporation General Robotics Ltd. and will be formally debuted at the Eurosatory defense exhibition in Paris later this month, the company announced in a statement.
The gun-toting bot is named after a vicious dog breed, the Dogo Argentino or Argentine Mastiff, a large white hunting dog. However, unlike the canine Dogo, which stands at over two feet (60 centimeters) tall, the robotic Dogo is just 5.5 inches (14 centimeters) tall while in “stealth mode” and 11 inches (28 centimeters) tall when fully deployed, according to the company.
The robot rolls along at a brisk 2.5 miles per hour (4 kilometers per hour) on treads and can travel up stairs and over obstacles. Its battery lasts between two and five hours, and the Dogo comes decked out with an array of sensors and eight video cameras that provide its handler with real-time, 360-degree information — from a safe distance.
“Our slogan is risk the Dogo, not personnel,” the company’s CEO Col. (res.) Udi Gal told Defense News.
However, unlike other robots that can only serve in a passive surveillance capacity, the Dogo has a compartment specially designed to hold and fire a subcompact Glock 26 9mm pistol.
The Dogo can hold up to 14 rounds of ammunition and is operated through a literal “point and shoot” interface, as the company described it in a press release. The operator uses a Panasonic tablet to identify a target, and the robot does the rest.
In addition to a Glock pistol, the robot can be equipped with nonlethal pepper spray and a “dazzling light module” designed to stun its victims, the company said.
The Dogo was designed with input from the Defense Ministry and the Israel Police’s counterterrorism unit. The comparatively lightweight machine is meant to be easily deployed by security forces and can fit into a backpack.
Full-scale production on the remote-controlled robots has yet to begin, nor have any specific deals with law enforcement agencies been announced.
The company, founded in 2009 and based in Beit Nehemia south of Tel Aviv, has also not yet released when it expects the pistol-packing machines to turn against us puny humans, but hopefully it won’t be for a while.