Israeli defense tech outfit General Robotics has created a tactical combat robot named “Dogo” that basically looks like a rolling VCR, or something out of Star Wars. Just don’t let it catch you laughing; it’s packing heat.
Remember the innocuous little Mouse Droids that scurried around the Death Star floor and fled in terror when somebody screamed? This little guy reminds me of that! Except instead of uselessly mopping Imperial linoleum and running from loud noises, the Dogo is built to endure and exploit situations that might be too tight or dangerous for an actual person.
Dogo is written in all General Robotics’ marketing material as “DOGO” but DefenseNews explains it’s not an acronym. The name refers to an enormous hunter dog also knows as an Argentine Mastiff.
Dogo the robot is is designed to roll with SWAT teams, or really any government agency the kicks down doors and drops people on a regular basis.
The body is just about 15 inches wide and 19 inches long, and weighs a little over 25 pounds. Those dimensions help it sneak into places personnel cannot, and its treads help it get over obstacles at close to 4 mph.
Dogo is capable of climbing stairs and slopes up to 45 degrees, as well as cross a plane with a 30 degree pitch.
It communicates with a Panasonic touch-screen remote over a 2.4 Ghz WiFi network or a military COFDM frequency, feeding the operator 360º views via eight cameras that work in all full range of light and dark.
The remote has a simple literal “point and shoot” firing system that makes firing its weapon as easy as focusing on a face for an Instagram picture.
Dogo’s standard weapon is a Glock 26 9mm pistol with a 14 round magazine, and the brochure says it can also be fitted with pepper spray or a “dazzling light” attachment to engage hostiles less lethally.
The robot can run for 2 to 5 hours on lithium ion batteries depending on its fitment, and can charge in 3.
This is your regular reminder that “drones” are not just noisy, rotor’d reconnaissance planes. Small and sneaky remote-control offensive systems like the Dogo can give police and military teams on the ground expedient, safer solutions for dangerous situations.
But what I admire most about the Dogo is its simplicity. No fancy leg implements, no overwrought proprietary weapon system, just a little pair of treads to carry eyes and a handgun into battle.
Dogo is not yet in service, but will apparently be showcased to potential buyers at International Defense Exhibition “Eurosatory 2016" in Paris from June 13 to 17 this year.