ROBOT dogs controlled by soldiers' thoughts are being trialled in a chilling Black Mirror-style vision of the future.
A new generation of mechanical canines could be given commands telepathically by handlers in conflict zones.
Previous models of the four-legged droids have relied on operators to use hand controllers or pre-programmed commands.
But now military commanders in Australia are testing astonishing new telepathic technology in war scenarios in a creepy echo of TV drama Black Mirror.
Scientists say a new brain interface allows their handlers to issue instructions just by thinking them.
At the same time, images and other data gathered by the robot can be sent back to the soldier's virtual headset.
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Footage shows Sergeant Damian Robinson, from 5th Combat Service Support Battalion, and Sergeant Chandan Rana, from 1st/15th Royal New South Wales Lancers putting the new tech through its paces.
They can be seen using only thought to move a robodog around a series of courses Majura Training Area, Canberra, before a group of invited experts.
The clip shows officers marching down the road in formation with the robot dog ahead of them and then working on a makeshift battlefield linked telepathically to its operator.
The battle-ready bionic dog can be seen going over difficult terrain, and also performing in rain and mud.
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Later in the video, the dog bot can be seen working with a search squad as they check out a series of containers.
During testing, several white squares corresponding to waypoints flickered on Sergeant Robinson's augmented reality lens at varying frequencies.
The commands from Sgt Robinson were passed on from a biosensor at the back of his head to detect brainwaves from his visual cortex.
When concentrated on a particular flicker, the biosensor detected the change in brainwaves and signalled an amplification circuit.
An artificial intelligence decoder then translated the signal into commands, which the robodog followed.
It comes after previous footage showed a killer robot dog firing a machine gun at dummy intruders in a terrifying demo.
Another dramatic clip showed a Chinese drone dropping a dog bot into a pretend battle zone.
And further footage emerged of a robot dog parading the streets of Shanghai as China continues to enforce the world’s strictest lockdown.
The latest HoloLens technology has been developed by University of Technology Sydney (UTS) researchers to command a Ghost Robotics quadruped robot.
Sgt Robinson explained: "The whole process is not difficult to master. It's very intuitive. It only took a couple of sessions.
"You don't have to think anything specific to operate the robot, but you do need to focus on that flicker."
"It's more of a visual concentration thing."
The purpose of the demonstration was to get soldiers thinking about how Army might integrate this technology into the tactical environment.
Researchers at UTS and the army's Robotic and Autonomous Implementation and Coordination Office (RICO) have worked together for almost three years to develop brain-computer interfaces.
Professor Chin-Teng Lin and Professor Francesca Iacopi, from UTS, have made key breakthroughs in technology.
Professor Lin figured out how to minimise noise from the body and environment to get a clearer signal from an operator's brain.
Another advance was increasing the number of commands the decoder can deliver in a fixed period.
Professor Lin said: "We have nine different kinds of commands and the operator can select one from those nine within that time period."
Professor Iacopi developed a new graphene-based biosensor to improve brainwave detection.
He said: "We've been able to combine the best of graphene, which is very biocompatible and very conductive, with the best of silicon technology, which makes our biosensor very resilient and robust to use."
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Military chiefs have provided $1.2 million (£1m) in research funding to UTS to support robodog development.
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