A four-legged robot in China that looks similar to Boston Dynamics’ Spot has gone viral again on platforms like Twitter and Reddit, but this time there are a couple of new twists. The machine can be transported via drone, according to the new video. And, perhaps most importantly, the robot has a gun attachment on top.
Where did the video originally come from? Before hitting U.S.-based social media sites, the video was first uploaded to the verified Weibo page of China Kestrel Defense, which includes the English words “Blood-Wing” in the upper-right corner. As The Drive notes, it’s not clear what “Blood-Wing” is supposed to be in reference to, but it certainly gets your attention!
The drone, which Kestrel calls the Red Wing, can travel behind enemy lines and conduct a “suprise attack” by dropping the robot dog, according to the defense company. And those four-legged robots are indeed meant to look like dogs.
“War dogs descending from the sky, air assault, Red Wing Forward heavy-duty drones deliver combat robot dogs, which can be directly inserted into the weak link behind the enemy to launch a surprise attack or can be placed on the roof of the enemy to occupy the commanding heights to suppress firepower,” the caption to the video says according to an English-language translation.
“And ground troops conduct a three-dimensional pincer attack on the enemy in the building,” the caption continues.
China’s robots often go viral on English-language social media, but whereas they were previously wearing silly little hats and dancing around in unison, they’ve taken a somewhat darker path these days. And given the increased tensions of the New Cold War—with the U.S. and its allies on one side, and Russia, China, and Iran on the other—it’s easy to see why videos of deadly robots capture the internet’s attention.
Boston Dynamics, of course, is the name most closely associated with America’s potential robot uprising, given that Atlas can do backflips and is really quite agile these days. But Boston Dynamics isn’t the one making tomorrow’s robo-killers for American soldiers. In fact, Boston Dynamics pledged not to make any lethal machines just last week.
But the U.S. military is doing their own development, including much less agile robot-controlled death devices like the Multi Utility Tactical Transport (MUTT) seen below in 2016.
And while MUTT might be less agile, Ghost Robotics also makes a version of what looks like Spot for the U.S. military. Granted, its Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) aren’t being displayed with powerful guns just yet.
We’re sure the U.S. military will get around to it sooner or later. It’s only a matter of time.