In 2019 we brought you news that Ohio-based company Throwflame had begun making a flamethrower attachment for drones. We're back to report another, even more absurd product–a robot dog that's equipped with a flamethrower. The Throwflame website describes it as "the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog" and explains that "this quadruped is coupled with the ARC Flamethrower to deliver on-demand fire anywhere!" Gizmodo explains that Thermonator uses Unitree's Go1 quadruped robot, instead of Boston Dynamic's robodog "Spot"–because Spot came with a very strict user agreement that prohibits the robot from being used as a weapon to harm people.
Gizmodo provides more details:
Thermonator . . . appears to be built on the Unitree Go1 quadruped robot, which is much smaller and lighter than Spot, but still includes a variety of cameras and sensors onboard allowing it some level of autonomous navigation when it's not being operated from a wireless controller.
Sitting atop the Thermonator is one of the company's ARC Flamethrowers, which uses a built-in fuel tank filled with gasoline or a gasoline/diesel mixture to blast a 30-foot long stream of burning fuel for up to 45 minutes when using its largest capacity battery. Unitree claims its Go1 robot weighs in at around 26 pounds on its own, but after the flame-throwing upgrades, the Thermonator weighs closer to 60 pounds, which will undoubtedly have a limit on how long the bot can operate before needing a battery swap.
As for how much it will cost, that hasn't been revealed yet either, but the Unitree Go1 sells for between $2,700 and $3,500, depending on how the bot is configured, while the ARC Flamethrower goes for between $699 and $899, which should provide a ballpark idea of what the Thermonator will set you back. But you'll probably want to factor in added health insurance, property insurance, and home insurance, should you decide that buying one is a good idea.
As David Pescovitz wrote in 2019, "What could possibly go wrong?"