Coders take part in Robot Dog Olympics to help develop tech solutions for Army

17 May 2022, 21:14

Coders race to take part in Robot Dog Olympics
Coders race to take part in Robot Dog Olympics. Picture: PA

Coders were challenged to programme the dogs to perform tasks including a 50-metre sprint, a gymnastics routine and problem solving.

Teams of coders have taken part in a Robot Dog Olympics as part of a scheme to develop innovative tech solutions for the British Army.

Almost 40 coders assembled at Ministry of Defence (MoD) Abbey Wood in Bristol to take part in the unique event.

robotic dog
Teams of expert coders used their skills to discover what capabilities state-of-the-art robotic dogs could offer the British Army (MoD/PA)

Coders were challenged to programme the robotic dogs to perform tasks including a 50-metre sprint, a gymnastics routine and problem solving.

Natasha Dell, an algorithm engineer from Thales, said: “I have been really surprised by how agile and responsive the robotic dogs are.

“They are incredibly mobile and the speed at which they move is impressive as well as the tasks they can complete.”

Teams worked with SPOT robotic dogs which are designed to autonomously perform non-offensive tasks to protect troops by searching and scanning or delivering medicine and food into disaster areas.

robotic dog
Tasks that coders were challenged to programme the dogs to do included a 50-metre sprint (MoD/PA)

Colonel Dan Anders-Brown said: “The coders have confirmed what we already knew.

“These are highly capable systems and could significantly reduce risk to life of our soldiers by removing the requirement to carry out dangerous activity in the modern battlespace.”

The event was run by the Future Capabilities Group (FCG) at Defence Equipment and Support, the procurement arm of the MoD.

It also ran in conjunction with Team Defence Information, a body that helps develop innovative solutions for the front line.

Suzy Harris, head of expeditionary robotics for the FCG, said: “Robotics and autonomous systems are becoming increasingly important in allowing soldiers to operate faster, for longer and enabling them to step back from some of the most challenging and dangerous tasks.”

SPOT is manufactured by Boston Dynamics, which has a well-publicised ethics policy on the use of its systems in any offensive manner.

By Press Association

More Technology News

See more More Technology News

Glastonbury Festival 2022

Glastonbury 2022 broke data records, EE says

A child using a laptop computer

Pupils ‘AirDrop nudes in maths and use Google Drive to store images’, MPs told

Over 20 million US dollars were raised by the public for drones to fight the Russian invasion

Tech company to gift Bayraktar drones to Ukraine after millions raised by public

A mixed reality holographic patient

UK medical students training on hologram patients in world-first


Warning new internet laws will hand ministers ‘unprecedented’ powers

A battery changing station of Nio brand electrical car (Alamy)

Two dead after Nio electric car they were testing ‘falls from building’

Alexa to expand

Amazon’s Alexa could mimic the voices of dead relatives

Ai-Da at work

Robot painting Glastonbury’s famous faces says festival atmosphere is ‘electric’

Instagram's new age verification tools, which have started being testing in the US

Instagram begins testing new age verification tools

A security surveillance camera is seen near the Microsoft office building in Beijing

Microsoft: Russian cyber spying targets 42 Ukraine allies

Social media apps on a smartphone

Meta removes ‘large numbers’ of upskirting images found on Facebook

Rio Ferdinand poses for photographs with children at 10 Downing Street to celebrate the launch of the Diana Award’s annual anti-bullying campaign Don’t Face It Alone (Stefan Rousseau/PA)

Rio Ferdinand calls for new ‘inspiring’ online platform to combat child bullying

A screenshot of the Microsoft Outlook email service

Microsoft’s Outlook email service hit by outage

Elon Musk

Elon Musk’s proposed £35.8bn Twitter deal gets board endorsement

Apple unveils new products

Guide Dogs launches scheme to provide free iPads to children with sight loss

A woman using a laptop

Cloudflare outage knocks hundreds of websites offline