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 ™ 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.