A video uploaded earlier this year draws comparisons to Terminator and I, Robot.
In the clip, a robotic patrol dog is outfitted with an automatic weapon.
The Verge provided details:
Also, in 2019, the Hoversurf founder posted a video of himself plinking away at the range with a gun that looks nearly identical to the one mounted on the bot — and with the exact same patch on his shoulder. And in February 2022, a month before he posted the dog-bot video, he also posted a picture of himself playing with what appears to be the same Unitree robot, only holding a coffee cup instead of a gun.
Scrolling further through his Facebook page, he seems to enjoy playing with military equipment like APCs and attack helicopters, too. If you add how impractical this particular gun-dog combination seems — these kinds of robots are programmed to naturally perform all kinds of balanced motions and yet this one doesn’t seem to be compensating for basic recoil — it seems far more likely he slapped a couple of his interests together, and less likely he’s seriously purusing a weapon of war.
Then again, one of this guy’s rivals in the flying rideable space happens to be Kalashnikov, the company behind the AK-47…
Atamanov didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.
Does anyone else find it creepy that Atamanov named his robotic patrol dog ‘Skynet?’
“A dog named Skynet,” he writes (translated).
While ‘Skynet’ appears to be a haphazard invention, the technology for gun-firing robotic dogs already exists.
Quadrupedal robots are one of the most interesting developments in robotics in recent years. They’re small, nimble, and able to traverse environments that frustrate wheeled machines. So, of course, it was only a matter of time until someone put a gun on one.
The image above shows a quadrupedal robot — a Vision 60 unit built by US firm Ghost Robotics — that’s been equipped with a custom gun by small-arms specialists Sword International. It seems the gun itself (dubbed the SPUR or “special purpose unmanned rifle”) is designed to be fitted onto a variety of robotic platforms. It has a 30x optical zoom, thermal camera for targeting in the dark, and an effective range of 1,200 meters.
What’s not clear is whether or not Sword International or Ghost Robotics are currently selling this combination of gun and robot. But if they’re not, it seems they will be soon. As the marketing copy on Sword’s website boasts: “The SWORD Defense Systems SPUR is the future of unmanned weapon systems, and that future is now.”