Man’s virtual best friend — or mankind’s greatest nightmare?
Video of a robotic dog equipped with a submachine gun is circulating social media — months after a man living in Russia posted frightening footage of the dystopian killing machine on YouTube.
“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,” a Twitter user posted Wednesday.
The 84-second viral clip, which has been viewed more than 4.3 million times, shows the robotic dog firing a machine gun and running rapidly across bricks in front of a snowy field. At one point, the killing machine opens fire — with intense recoil knocking it back onto its hind legs.
The footage also shows the dog — which sports a Russian flag on one side — advancing near a military vehicle.
The original clip was posted in March by Alexander Atamov of Moscow, who posted a photo of the scary creature on Facebook he referred to as “Skynet,” according to a translation of the post.
“It would be nice to have these dogs and other remote controlled robots in a war on both sides, where all the warfare would be without any man on the field,” one person replied, according to a translation.
“Russian development?” another asked, to which Atamov indicated yes, the post shows.
Atamov’s LinkedIn profile lists him as the founder of Russia’s Hoversurf, which unveiled a new model of an air taxi in January 2021 that was expected to be ready for flights as early as 2023, Reuters reported.
Vice notes the robot dog is not the same model as the dancing Boston Dynamics version, although it looks similar despite having different feet and various ports.
Dozens of knockoffs of the Boston Dynamics dog are sold online, including the version in the video, which appears to be a UnitreeYusu “technology dog” that sells for as little as $2,700 online, Vice reported.
The gun attached to the dog appears to a Russian-made PP-19 Vityaz — a submachine gun based on the AK-47 — while the military vehicle seen in the footage is a BDRM-2 Russian armored car, which has been spotted recently in Ukraine, according to Vice.
Some on Twitter, meanwhile, wondered what could come from the “scary development” of a robotic dog being outfitted with a submachine gun — although it’s unclear if the device was firing autonomously or was being controlled remotely.
“Oh that robot dog is so cute they said,” one tweet read. “But deep inside you all knew where this was going.”
“Jesus Christ,” another observer noted.
“I absolutely love how it can’t control the recoil and fires stray bullets in random directions. This is some dystopian Metal Gear s–t … I’m all for gun control, but if they start deploying robot dogs with f–king assault rifles, we need to start arming up.”