A robot dog armed with an anti-tank grenade launcher recently turned heads at Russia’s premiere arms convention, International Military-Technical Forum Army-2022.
Video released by a Russian news agency showed the so-called M-81 robot dog spinning, crouching, walking back and forth, and wandering into a crowd, Newsweek reported.
The dog was produced by St. Petersburg-based Intellect Machines JSC. The designers described some of its capabilities in a Telegram post, Newsweek reported.
It’s “capable of conducting aimed shooting and transporting weapons, and for civilian purposes it can be used in the emergency zone for reconnaissance, passage through rubble and delivery of medicines,” the post said.
The designers reportedly added that “when used in combat, the robotic dog can also be engaged in target designation, patrolling and security.”
The Unitree Go1 robot dog, designed as a home companion, can’t carry a loaded grenade launcher, is easy to hack, and based on customer reviews, only holds a charge for a couple of hours, The Insider reported.
China-based Unitree Robotics also presented a 26-pound robot dog called Laikago at the Consumer Electronics Show in 2020. That dog has to be remotely controlled, but can negotiate a variety of surfaces and, like American robots by Boston Dynamics, can climb up grassy slopes, Digital Trends reported.
China used robot dogs during COVID-19 lockdowns in Shanghai to deliver alerts and information for the millions who were quarantined in their homes and apartments. The Chinese say the dogs are designed for manual labor in factories, ideally, but they also can be easily converted to mobile weapons platforms with very little modification.