A robot dog carrying an RPG rocket launcher on its back has been demonstrated at an arms fair in Russia – but it might not be as cutting edge as first thought.
Showed off at the Army 2022 expo in Russia, footage of the Boston Dynamics-style dog has been widely shared online, but some people on Twitter have pointed out that it could have been bought online at the store AliExpress from Alibaba.
The online retailer offers well-priced goods from Chinese stores to international buyers, a far cry from military-grade weaponry.
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The video was first uploaded by Russian state-owned news service RIA Novosti, demonstrating the impressive capability of the robot, walking around and then laying down.
RIA said it had spoken to the developers of the robot, saying: “This is a sample of the M-81 robotic system, capable of conducting aimed shooting and transporting weapons, and for civilian purposes it can be used in the emergency zone for reconnaissance, passage through rubble and delivery of medicines.”
It added: “When used in combat, the robotic dog can also be engaged in target designation, patrolling and security”.
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But some eagle-eyed Twitter users have flocked to the site to point out that the robot looks remarkably similar to a Chinese-made product available to buy online for just a few thousand pounds.
For £4,061.59 the dog can be purchased by anyone, although admittedly it doesn't come with a rocket launcher.
The ‘dog’ has been covered in a black fabric wrap in an attempt to hide its origin, but giveaway signs, notably in the ‘eyes’ make it very likely this isn’t actually a military-grade weapon.
It does make it look a bit like a ninja though.
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