Meet The Thermonator: The Flamethrowing Robot Dog
29 Jun 2023
They just keep strapping things on robot dogs these days. Last year, it was a Russian who put a rocket launcher on a Chinese-manufactured robot dog and this year, an American company, Throwflame, decided to mount a flamethrower on the same robot dog and call it the “Thermonator.”
While there are several functions the “Thermonator” can do to help humans, for those who are in tactical sector, one thing comes to mind --- bunker/cave clearing. Why send a soldier with a flamethrower to smoke out the enemy when you can do it with a robot dog? Makes sense, right?
Throwflame is the oldest flamethrower manufacturer in the US, which of course, means that that the company knows what it is doing. The robot dog is the Unitree Yushu Technology Dog Go1 which is manufactured in China and many say is a shameless copy of the Boston Dynamics “Spot” robot dog which is now owned by Hyundai. The Go1 dog is smaller and more affordable than Spot.
The Thermonator comes with a high-performance ARC flamethrower made by Throwflame. The flamethrower is mounted on the robot's back and can shoot flames up to 9 meters in front of it. The flamethrower is equipped with an internal fuel tank that can be loaded with either gasoline or a combination of gasoline and diesel. The tank has a capacity of 1.5 liters and can last for up to 45 minutes of continuous use.
As the Thermonator uses the Unitree Go1 robot, which weighs around 26 pounds, the flamethrower attachment adds an additional 34 pounds to the robot's weight, bringing the total weight up to 60 pounds. This increased weight will undoubtedly have an impact on the robot's battery life. The Unitree Go1 robot has a battery life of up to 6 hours, but the Thermonator robot is likely to have a shorter battery life due to its increased weight.
The Thermonator is a versatile robot with a wide range of applications, including managing crowds, extinguishing fires, and protecting itself. Plus, it also has military applications as pointed out here. However, it is crucial to remember that the robot has the potential to inflict severe harm or even death. As a result, it is essential to operate the robot safely and only in regulated settings.
Throwflame is making a waitlist of interested customers and expects it to be shipping in the third quarter of 2023. No pricing has been revealed for the full package. The Unitree Go1 robot alone costs US$2,700 to US$3,500 depending on the model if ordered from Aliexpress and the Throwflame ARC Flamethrower has a price range of U$699.00 – US$899.00.
We are looking forward to the day that an airsoft player or shop with deep pockets would order one of these Chinese-made robot dogs and mount an airsoft LMG on it.