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Somehow This $10,000 Flame-Thrower Robot Dog Is Completely Legal In 48 States

If you’ve been wondering when you’ll be able to order the flame-throwing robot that Ohio-based Throwflame first announced last summer, that day has finally arrived. The Thermonator, what Throwflame bills as “the first-ever flamethrower-wielding robot dog” is now available for purchase. The price? $9,420.

Thermonator is a quadruped robot with an ARC flamethrower mounted to its back, fueled by gasoline or napalm. It features a one-hour battery, a 30-foot flame-throwing range, and Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connectivity for remote control through a smartphone.

It also includes a Lidar sensor for mapping and obstacle avoidance, laser sighting, and first-person-view navigation through an onboard camera. The product appears to integrate a version of the Unitree Go2 robot quadruped that retails alone for $1,600 in its base configuration.

Photograph: Xmatter

The company lists possible applications of the new robot as “wildfire control and prevention,” “agricultural management,” “ecological conservation,” “snow and ice removal,” and “entertainment and SFX.” But most of all, it sets things on fire in a variety of real-world scenarios.

Back in 2018, Elon Musk made the news for offering an official Boring Company flamethrower that reportedly sold 10,000 units in 48 hours. It sparked some controversy, because flamethrowers can also double as weapons or potentially start wildfires.

Flamethrowers are not specifically regulated in 48 US states, although general product liability and criminal laws may still apply to their use and sale. They are not considered firearms by federal agencies. Specific restrictions exist in Maryland, where flamethrowers require a Federal Firearms License to own, and California, where the range of flamethrowers cannot exceed 10 feet.

Photograph: Xmatter

Even so, to state the obvious, flamethrowers can easily burn both things and people, starting fires and wreaking havoc if not used safely. Accordingly, the Thermonator might be one Christmas present you should skip for little Johnny this year.

This story originally appeared on Ars Technica.