Robotics have been around for decades, used mostly in manufacturing. But in recent years, experimentation with other uses for robots has picked up dramatically. That's thanks largely to major advances in artificial intelligence, design, construction, materials, programming and other facets, all of which have enabled scientists, researchers and developers to adapt them for a variety of uses.
Including, apparently, as weapons -- of war and societal control. Think "RoboCop" only in terms of technology being used against civilian populations to control them, not to protect them.
As reported by CyberNews, Boston Dynamics has shown how its leading robotic model can pull off some amazing dance moves as well as other human-like movements. But other firms are working to turn robots into killing machines, which is foreboding, to say the least.
Some of the latest models, video of which has been posted to social media, are now resembling something out of a sci-fi movie. Take a look:
Twitter user Sean Chiplock shared a video of a robot "dog" in Russia firing a mounted machine gun, though the platform is not very stable. Sean Gallagher, a senior threat researcher at Sophos, opined that the robot dog is of Chinese origin.
"All the people who laughed off the "worrywarts" years ago for freaking out about the Funny Dancing Robot Dogs (tm) should be forced to watch this video once a day for the remainder of the year," he wrote in a Twitter post containing the stunning video clip.
All the people who laughed off the “worrywarts” years ago for freaking out about the Funny Dancing Robot Dogs (tm) should be forced to watch this video once a day for the remainder of the year. pic.twitter.com/WBIrlGah3w
— Sean Chiplock (@sonicmega) July 20, 2022
"I especially love all those stray bullets being shot off at completely random angles to later strike some random citizen, because the billion-dollar-robot somehow still can't account for muzzle rebound after the shots," Gallagher added in another tweet. "Our tax dollars being put to work, with or without consent."
Meanwhile, another Twitter account called DaddyPsyops posted even more shocking video clip of a human-like robot that researchers were putting through rough testing. What's more -- and more shocking and dangerous -- is that they appear to be providing the robot with live ammunition.
The researchers are seen kicking the robot and knocking it over, hijacking it from behind, throwing up barriers and doing other drills such as taking away its weapons. The robot not only fires at targets extremely accurately, but it can also tell when not to shoot at a human or, at least, the designated human researchers.
That's the good doggy version, how about the Bot version? pic.twitter.com/sbLPyFWSON
— Daddy Psyops (@DaddyPsyops) July 20, 2022
As for the "robodog," CyberNews reported that it appears to resemble the Go1 robot dog model made by Unitree Robotics.
"For example, the back side of the device in the video exhibits a distinct pattern on a plastic covering between its hind legs. A similar design is visible on devices in Unitree's promotional material," the report stated. "The Hangzhou-based company is selling the Go1 model of the robot for $2,700 on its website, a fraction of over $75k that American-made Spot would cost its owner."
Also, according to CyberNews, patches and insignia on the "dog" appear to indicate that it is being tested in Russia.
This disturbing picture of a dystopian robotic future does not bode well for humankind.