Military robotics is quickly expanding with both humanoid and quadruped robots taking up the flag. However, while official army bots undergo military training, one robot dog is tearing up with a working submachine gun.
Robot dog with a Submachine Gun
In a video uploaded by inventor Alexander Atamanov, a robot dog was equipped with a working submachine gun to fire at targets. Strapped to the robot’s back, the Russian 9x19mm PP-19-01 “Vityaz” submachine gun fires in bursts at targets before manoeuvring to the next.
The $3000 UnitreeYushu dogbot has been crudely fitted with the rifle. A GoPro camera sits near the back of the gun, peering through the red dot sight so that its operator can control the line of fire. After each shot, recoil sends the robot reeling back, but its strong frame keeps it in place.
Between each shot, the robot dog walks almost excitedly in place, moving ever so slightly to line up its shot. If it wasn’t for the fact that it completely lacks any organic material whatsoever, it would be cute.
In response to the video, social media platforms lit up in outrage. Many have called for the complete ban of robot dogs in individual households. Some cite US mass shootings, claiming that the ability for everyday people to remote control such a dangerous weapon would result in horrendous massacres.
Weaponised Robot Dogs are becoming common
While Atamanov’s household creation is a worrisome feat of engineering, weaponised robot dogs are becoming commonplace. For example, startup Ghost Robotics has already created a military robot with a rifle strapped to its back.
Ghost Robotics’ Machine is more advanced. Instead of the submachine gun found on Atamanov’s design, its weapon is hidden in an advanced shroud. This shroud makes the device able to unload, load and fire at will.
With killer robotics becoming a more widespread technology, protests have formed surrounding them. Charity group Stop Killer Robots has fought against the automation of weaponry, fighting to have more humans behind deadly decisions.
Of course, these robotics do have a place in today’s society. In places such as Pompeii, these robot dogs — sans submachine gun, of course, are used to explore rough structures deemed unsafe for humans. They’re valuable tools, even for firefighters. However, weaponising then is inevitable.