Recent footage of a Chinese drone dropping off a dog-like robot with a machine gun strapped to its back has gone viral, providing a glimpse at the future of unmanned warfare.
Video clips, which were originally published by Chinese media earlier this month, showed large unmanned aircraft system with eight propellers hovering in to drop off a robot dog. The robot has its legs tucked in as it’s dropped off, but begins to unfold its legs and stand upright and walk.
As the robot dog begins to move, it is evident that it has some type of light-machine gun mounted on its back. The weapon appears to be a QBB-95 or QBB-97, which are both drum-magazine fed weapons used by Chinese forces.
Another video appears to show the same drone-based robot dog delivery from a different view.
The Drive reported the footage appeared earlier this month on an account on the Chinese social media app Weibo named “Kestrel Defense Blood Wing.” The Weibo-verified account appears to be affiliated with the Chinese armsmaker known as Kestrel Defense.
Another video went viral this summer showing a Chinese robot dog actually aiming and firing at targets on a range. In the video, the robot had to move its entire body and take several seconds to fine tune to aim the gun and it would reel back under the recoil of sustained automatic fire.
The U.S. military has also been developing dog robots. The U.S. robotmanufacturer Ghost Robotics has also showcased a dog robot equipped with a 6.5 mm rifle pod.
The Russian engineering firm Intellect Machine has also showcased a robot dog armed with an RPG-26 anti-tank launcher. The robot, which is a modified version of a Chinese design, is being developed for Russian forces.
Several dog robots are already available on the consumer market and can be modified to carry and fire again relatively easily.
Last year an internet prank group called MSCHF (pronounced “mischief”) modified a Boston Dynamics robot called spot, arming it with a paintball gun and allowed fans to control the robot and fire the gun through an application on their phones. Boston Dynamics condemned the mischievous use of their technology.