Home This terrifying flame-throwing robot dog can be yours for under $10k

This terrifying flame-throwing robot dog can be yours for under $10k


  • Thermonator available for $9,420, fueled by gasoline or napalm.
  • Operational range varies by state due to regulations.
  • Market not as a weapon but for wildfire control, agriculture, and entertainment.

Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it’s a jet of fire projected towards you by a flame-throwing robot dog, which you can own for a mere $10,000.

The Thermonator, as it is aptly named, is now available for purchase for $9,420, and looks like it could belong in a Robocop movie. Unsurprisingly, the device comes with a few warnings.

Ohio-based Throwflame is available in every state, except for Maryland, even though flamethrowers are not federally regulated and are not classified as firearms by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF). A smaller version is sent to those in California, resulting in an operational range of less than 10 feet due to state regulations.

Possessing or using a flamethrower in Maryland is punishable by a $250,000 fine and up to 25 years imprisonment.

The flame is fueled by either gasoline or napalm. The machine includes a one-hour battery life, can project flames up to 30 feet, and features Wi-Fi and Bluetooth capabilities for smartphone remote control – and not for streaming Rambo at the same time.

It also comes equipped with a LIDAR sensor for mapping and obstacle detection, laser sighting, and first-person view (FPV) navigation via an onboard camera. The product includes a version of the Unitree Go2 quadruped robot, which is sold separately for $1,600 in its basic configuration.

The company does not market it as a modern-day weapon, but instead promotes the flame-throwing robot for its utility in wildfire control, agricultural management, entertainment, and ice removal. And of course, for setting things on fire.

The Cleveland firm released the first-ever full-sized, commercially available flamethrower in 2015, which shoots flames up to 50 feet.

“This unregulated flamethrower sparked a significant media response relating to legality,” Throwflame shared on its website.

“However, flamethrowers remain federally unregulated. This means anyone can buy one without background checks or a waiting period.”

How people reacted to the flame-throwing robot dog

Predictably, social media was awash with comparisons to the “Metalhead” episode from the fourth season of Black Mirror. The Agile Mobile Robot from Boston Dynamics bears a striking resemblance to the machine, and it was initially the robot that drew parallels with Metalhead.

The episode explores the chilling possibilities of these machines turning against us, showcasing a desperate struggle for survival in a world where robotic dogs can outrun and outthink humans.

User Rob Sheppe wrote on X: “Some real-life Black Mirror ‘Metalhead’ terror right here. How is this legal? The target market appears to be psycho killers and militia who want to take out a playground or a protest march. There is no legitimate use for a flamethrower robot dog.”

While the fittingly named DG Burns said: “Just what the world needs, robots with flamethrowers.”

Timothy Imholt added: “I kind of want to just to see if there is any kind of paperwork or checks on who I am.”

In 2015, Congress proposed a bill that aimed to regulate flamethrowers in the same manner as machine guns, but the legislation stalled and was eventually dismissed.

The European Organisation for Nuclear Research (CERN) only recently unveiled their new best friend: a robot called the CERNquadbot. The four-legged robot is reported to have successfully completed its first radiation protection test — and it passed with flying, radioactive colors.

Featured image: Throwflame

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Suswati Basu
Tech journalist

Suswati Basu is a multilingual, award-winning editor and the founder of the intersectional literature channel, How To Be Books. She was shortlisted for the Guardian Mary Stott Prize and longlisted for the Guardian International Development Journalism Award. With 18 years of experience in the media industry, Suswati has held significant roles such as head of audience and deputy editor for NationalWorld news, digital editor for Channel 4 News and ITV News. She has also contributed to the Guardian and received training at the BBC As an audience, trends, and SEO specialist, she has participated in panel events alongside Google. Her…

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