France's Saint-Cyr Military Academy hosted a military exercise on Mar. 30-31 which focused on the use of robots to supplement combat ground forces, and the event included the notable Boston Dynamics' dogbot "Spot."
From the footage we can see the robots taking on all kinds of specialized roles to include observation/recon, ambulance/cargo, and direct fire weaponry among others.
Spot appeared to take the lead in CQB building-clearing operations as a scout sensor, giving the soldiers realtime information on what awaited them in the next room. It's ability to climb stairs in a rapid manner is impressive and its potential to save lives on the battlefield is obvious.
Reading between the lines, there appears to be some drama regarding Spot's participation in the exercise. Boston Dynamics made no official press release regarding the French drills on their website and shared none of the viral social media posts showing their creation in action.
The perpetually-offended lashed out at BD for the appearance of spot in the context of a ground combat exercise, and Boston Dynamics' vice president of business development Michael Perry responded with, "We're learning about it as you are ... We're not clear on the exact scope of this engagement." Apparently, Spot was provided to the French military by a third-party defense firm, Shark Robotics.
Back in February, Boston Dynamics condemned a viral video producer for mounting a paintball gun to the top of Spot for a "rampage" social media stunt. Boston Dynamics has also previously assured the public that their robots will never be weaponized...