The Thermonator flame-throwing robodog

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The Thermonator is a robotic dog equipped with a flamethrower, developed by a company called Throwflame. This robot is built on the Unitree Go1 quadruped robot platform, which is smaller and lighter than Boston Dynamics' Spot. The Thermonator features a built-in ARC Flamethrower that can project a 30-foot long stream of burning fuel, using a mixture of gasoline or gasoline/diesel, for up to 45 minutes with its largest capacity battery. The robot weighs approximately 60 pounds after the flame-throwing modifications, significantly heavier than its base weight of 26 pounds. It includes various cameras and sensors that allow for some level of autonomous navigation when not controlled via a wireless device. Throwflame markets the Thermonator for various uses such as wildfire control, agricultural management, and snow and ice removal, but it also poses significant risks, which is why potential buyers might need to consider additional insurance coverage. The product is not yet available for purchase, but interested customers can join a waitlist on the Throwflame website, with shipping expected to start in the third quarter of 2023. The cost of the Thermonator has not been disclosed, but estimates suggest it could be priced similarly to the Unitree Go1 and the ARC Flamethrower, which together range from $3,399 to $4,399. The development of the Thermonator has raised concerns and discussions about the ethical implications and potential dangers of such technology. While Boston Dynamics has committed to not weaponizing their robots, the creation of the Thermonator shows that other companies may not follow the same ethical guidelines. This development taps into broader fears about the weaponization of robotic technologies and their potential consequences.
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