Robots like those from Boston Dynamics try to win the hearts of humans with their playful gestures, dances and animal-like movements. But unfortunately, they can also be used as weapons.
Robot builders often present their creations in a favorable light: here, a robot protecting an archaeological treasure, there an impressive parkour session, again robots dancing to the rhythm of a BTS song. But unfortunately, it didn’t take long for the arms industry to take an interest in it as well and turn robots into war machines.
A robot dog with a funny story
This is the case of this robot which carries a rocket launcher on its back. The quadriped baptized M-81 resembles the Spot of Boston Dynamics (a design largely pumped by other manufacturers since). He is dressed all in black like a ninja, with his two “eyes” uncovered: these are undoubtedly the robot’s cameras.
Video of the M-81 robot-dog armed with an RPG-26 at the Army 2022 defense expo. https://t.co/rUnwoCMoyS
— Rob Lee (@RALee85)
Presented at an arms fair held in Moscow, despite Western sanctions and travel restrictions since the outbreak of war in Ukraine. The M-81 is able to perform targeted fire and carry weapons, according to its designer. Who does not forget to specify that the robot can also be useful for civilian purposes, as part of reconnaissance in emergency areas, to pass through rubble or transport medicines.
The two creators of this robot-dog soldier did not, however, look very far for their inspiration. They actually havethe G01, a Chinese clone of the Boston Dynamics Spot built by Unitree Robotics, which can be purchased for just under 5,000 euros on AliExpress. The robot was later modified to carry a rocket launcher, but there is no indication that it is really effective in the field…
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.
— Sean Chiplock @ (SOON) PWR^ South Bend (@sonicmega)
A story that smells a bit like a scam, but that does not prevent armies from taking a very close interest in this type of technology. Last month, a quadruped was spotted with a machine gun on its back. A very effective robot-dog to aim at its targets as we can see in the video above…