The Spot robot will be used to remove anti-personnel mines
Do you remember Spot? Spot is the canine-like robot made by Boston Dynamics, for those unfamiliar with it you can see it in action here.
Whenever we have talked about robots and artificial intelligence, we have tried to emphasize how their cross application can bring enormous benefits to humans, especially in contexts where humans are in danger, such as during fires or in contaminated environments. Although Spot’s appearance will remind many of an episode of the Black Mirror series in which the robot was anything but friendly towards humans, today we can finally talk about an extremely current and useful application that will see the bot protagonist.
The current conflict on Ukrainian territory is in fact seeing the use, as often happens during wars, of anti-personnel mines. Spot will be used to recognize and neutralize them. Boston Dynamics will in fact supply a version of the robot equipped with a mechanical arm capable of picking up the bombs and transporting them to reclamation areas where they will be detonated and neutralized. State-of-the-art software will allow Spot to move easily in extremely dangerous areas and to recognize anti-personnel mines, even if well hidden. So here is a concrete application of how these technologies can actually improve the world.
Another interesting application, albeit less impactful, had seen Spot involved in the Smart @ Pompeii project, aimed at the maintenance and protection of the ruins of Pompeii. On that occasion, Spot had the task of visiting the narrowest corners of Pompeii, looking for new finds and helping to map even the most difficult to reach areas of the park.
The application of Spot in war territory represents a great innovation for humanity: we must in fact think that during wars most of the victims are civilians. As many as 9 out of 10 people who arrive in war hospitals in search of help are in fact civilians who have no interest in the ongoing war, they are only and exclusively victims. Many of them are even children, who find themselves handling mines built deliberately with the appearance of toys with the specific aim of attracting and injuring them. Spot will help to contain a barbarism that should no longer be conceived in 2022.