Just last year, the world was astounded when Ghost Robotics revealed a robot dog with a rifle on its back. Now, the Russian military has unveiled the next step in military robotics: a robot dog with an RPG on its back.
However, it turns out that the robot dog may be even scarier than many realise. As it just so happens, the Russian army is using commercial robots that anyone can buy.
Russian military unveils RPG Robot
In a new article on state-run Russian publication RIA Novosti, the RPG Robot Dog was shown off. Revealed in a short 30-second video, the weaponised robot was seen walking around a convention centre.
Called the M-81 Complex, the robot dog can walk, lie down and crawl through environments with ease. Additionally, the robotic canine carries a huge rocket launcher on its back, presumably with the ability to fire said rocket launcher at targets.
The robot dog can switch between fighting and civilian modes. In civilian mode, the robot will navigate rubble in an environment, survey surroundings and deliver items. In battle mode, the robot can designate and take out targets as well as patrol routes.
In the video, the robot dog was seen carrying an anti-tank rocket launcher. However, the robot dog can be equipped with a number of different weapons depending on the situation.
Furthermore, the robot was hidden by black overalls to stay stealthy with just its sensors showing. This means that the device will be able to wear camouflage out in the field.
Real Concern: It’s a commercial robot
Via The War Zone, Russia’s cutting edge robot dog isn’t that cutting edge at all. In fact, the robot underneath the rocket launcher is commercially available on a number of websites, even Alibaba.
The robot is actually just a Unitree Robotic’s UnitreeYushuTechnologyDog. This robot is expensive, but it can be purchased online for around £2,300. Furthermore, it’s the same robot that a Russian inventor equipped with an automatic machine gun.
For those who know how, Unitree’s robot dogs can become lethal remote weapons. As evidenced by their use in militaries, these robots are dangerous tools. However, there is a solution.
As we reported previously, hackers have already found ways of remotely disabling Unitree’s robot dogs. With a simple tool and some freely available code, these robot dog weapons can be shut down with the press of a button.
Nevertheless, it can’t be understated how dangerous these robots can be in the wrong hands. Even if some people can disarm them, not everyone can.