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The Marines start training Google's 160-pound robo-dog Spot

Mariella Moon, @mariella_moon
November 21, 2015
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Spot, the silent robo-dog made by Google-owned company Boston Dynamics, enjoyed the great outdoors for a week back in September. Not to fetch sticks or roll around in the grass, but to train... with the Marines. It's gone a long way since its time stalking indoors, getting kicked by well-meaning engineers. The corps tested Spot's ability to traverse terrains rougher than concrete floors, such as hills, woodlands and cities, controlling it from 500 meters away with a laptop and a video game controller. It was apparently so easy to pilot the quadruped, even a four-year-old could do it.

During its urban terrain drill, the Marines taught Spot to peek around corners to look for enemies, which would've looked cute if it were a real dog and not a faceless, 160-pound machine. Before you allow it to strike terror into your hearts, though, know that Spot was never meant to go into combat: the Marines just took it for a test run to help them decide whether to use other (most likely more terrifying) robots in the future.

In this article: google, marines, military, spot
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