Earlier this week, a video started circulating on Twitter showing a pretty horrifying sight: a Boston Dynamics-style robot dog with an assault rifle, firing indiscriminately and with abandon into targets scattered around some snowy outdoor location. Needless to say, it’s more than a little terrifying.
All the people who laughed off the “worrywarts” years ago for freaking out about the Funny Dancing Robot Dogs ™ should be forced to watch this video once a day for the remainder of the year. pic.twitter.com/WBIrlGah3w
— Sean Chiplock (@sonicmega) July 20, 2022
- Newsflash: robots should not have guns. Most actual human beings with opposable thumbs shouldn’t have guns, so why on earth would you give one to a robot dog? It’s clear from the clip that the recoil is too much for the AI and constantly forces it to re-steady itself. Its aim seems terrible as well, which is pretty concerning. It’s not even clear whether it’s firing on its own or if someone is controlling it remotely.
- This is not our beloved Spot. Everyone knows and loves Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot, who dances, trots around, and is actually kind of cute for a robot. This ain’t it. According to Vice, the one in the video is actually UnitreeYusu “technology dog” selling on AliExpress for about $3,000. They determined this as “the feet, port placement, and joint coverings are all the same.”
- There are some other interesting details here… For instance, the left flank of the robot dog has the Russian flag while the other displays a wolf’s head. This seems to be a symbol associated with the Russian Special Operations Forces or Spetsnaz. Could they be using (or thinking about using) armed robot dogs? The gun the dog has is also Russian, apparently a PP-19 Vityaz, a submachine gun based on the AK-74 design.
- That’s not all Vice discovered about the rifle-wielding robot dog. The video originally appeared on the YouTube account of Alexander Atamov back in March 2022. He says on LinkedIn that he lives in Moscow and lists himself as the founder of “HOVERSURF.” In a Facebook post featuring the dog, he referred to the robot as “Skynet.” Pretty freaky!