Still Cute? Dystopian Robot Dogs Now Sporting Guns And Russian Insignia

Tyler Durden's Photo
by Tyler Durden
Friday, Jul 22, 2022 - 09:45 AM

Remember those 'cute' dancing dogs from (Japanese-owned) Boston Dynamics that were doing all sorts of maneuvers, pulling rickshaws, and opening doors with their 'muzzles'?

Well, China has made their own version of 'spot' - except they strapped a gun onto it and adorned it with Russian special forces insignia.

As Sean Gallagher, a Senior Threat Researcher at Sophos points out, "All the people who laughed off the “worrywarts” years ago for freaking out about the Funny Dancing Robot Dogs (tm) should be forced to watch this video once a day for the remainder of the year."

More via Cyber News:

The design of the robot looks a lot like Go1 robot dog Unitree Robotics makes. For example, the back side of the device in the video exhibits a distinct pattern on a plastic covering between its hind legs. A similar design is visible on devices in Unitree’s promotional material.

The Hangzhou-based company is selling the Go1 model of the robot for $2,700 on its website, a fraction of over $75k that American-made Spot would cost its owner.

While the robot doesn’t seem to handle recoil very well with the gun on ‘burst fire’ mode, switching to a ‘semi-automatic’ setting allows the robot to hit targets without moving around too much.

The robot in the video has patches on its surfaces with insignia associated with the Russian military: a Russian flag on one side and what seems to be a Wolf, which Russian special forces use.

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News of the new Black Mirror combat bot comes a little more than a year after news that a French military academy had been using the Boston Dynamics' 'spot' in field training exercises during a two-day session with the aim of "measuring the added value of robots in combat action," said school commandant Jean-Baptiste Cavalier.

Local newspaper Ouest-France provided more details on the usefulness of the robot on the modern battlefield. 

Meanwhile, the NYPD halted a program using Boston Dynamics' "Digidog," after mounting uproar from the public and lawmakers over its $94,000 lease, and because it was extremely creepy.

That said, Cyber News continues:

Recently reports came out that the US Army had agreed to send one of its two Boston Dynamic-made robot dogs to Ukraine, where it will carry out demining operations around the capital Kyiv.

The robot dog will help an American non-profit HALO Trust remove unexploded ordnance, including cluster munitions, and drag them to be safely exploded in batches far from civilians.

Although Boston Dynamics prohibits using the Spot platform as a weapon, its possible application for military and law-enforcement purposes is evident.