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Instead of teaching him to fetch, roll over or play dead, the owners of a high-tech robot dog apparently want him to kill people.
If you’ve been on the internet this morning, you may have come across these images of a robotic dog wielding an assault rifle.
The bot staggers around randomly without any human input, with the video occasionally shifting into a Call of Duty-style first person angle.
So far, so scary. But perhaps not all is as it seems.
While this looks like one of those Boston Dynamics robot dogs famous for dancing and strolling around Pompeii, it’s not.
Instead, this is a Unitree ‘Yusu’ knock-off obtained from China with a Russian PP-19 Vityaz submachine gun attached.
Occasionally the sight shifts to a GoPro mounted on the top of the rifle (Credit: Twitter)
‘s team Shame connected the dots on the video and found that it was originally posted on the YouTube account of Alexander Atamanov, the founder of a Russian hoverbike company.
Other posts on Atamanov’s social media channels show him firing an identical gun at a similar-looking range and posting elsewhere with the robot dog. Which leads us to believe it’s a homemade project rather than a shadowy Russian plot to equip robodogs with guns.
In the footage, the dog can’t explain the gun’s recoil (Credit: Twitter)
Unfortunately, the idea of attaching automatic weapons to robotic dogs is not new.
A US based company called SWORD International tried something similar last year.
It placed an assault rifle on the back of a Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (or Q-UGV for short) made by Philadelphia Ghost Robotics.
Then it dubbed it the SPUR — or the Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle — and uploaded photos of it to Instagram.
Pretty scary, huh? (Supplier: Instagram/ swordinternational)
Ghost Robotics said the SPUR can remotely chamber the first round from an unloaded state and similarly clear the chamber and secure the gun if necessary.
There is an onboard sighting system, and soldiers can control the creature through an app installed on military-issued tablet computers.
While this particular weapon is not yet in use by the US military, several unarmed versions of the Q-UGV are in use by the US Air Force.
So it’s likely that Russia wants to catch up, with or without Atamanov’s help.
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