China Shows Off Robot Dogs Armed With Machine Guns

Dog Gun It

The Chinese military recently showed off numerous robot dogs outfitted with machine guns on their backs during the country's biggest-ever drill alongside Cambodian troops, as Agence France-Presse reports.

The terrifying gun-toting robodogs were part of a massive 15-day military exercise called "Golden Dragon" in a remote training center in central Cambodia and off the country's coast.

During the drill, journalists watched as staff took the robodogs for a walk — but reportedly never fired the machine guns strapped to their backs.

It's a dystopian vision of what the future of warfare could look like. Experts have long warned that the use of armed drones or "killer robots," particularly autonomous ones, is an ethical minefield that should be internationally banned from the battlefield.

But that hasn't stopped military forces and even local enforcement in the US from investing in the tech while arguing that their use could save human lives.

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It's not the first time we've come across quadrupedal gun-toting robots. Last year, the Pentagon announced that the US Army is considering arming remote-controlled robot dogs with state-of-the-art rifles as part of its plan to "explore the realm of the possible" in the future of combat.

A US-based military contractor called Ghost Robotics has already showed off such a robot dog, outfitted with a long-distance rifle.

However, as far as Boston Dynamics' popular Spot Mini robot dog is concerned, the company has been adamant that strapping weapons to the robodog is against its terms of service.

"We pledge that we will not weaponize our advanced-mobility general-purpose robots or the software we develop that enables advanced robotics and we will not support others to do so," the company wrote in an open letter.

More on robot dogs: Robot Dog Shot Three Times During Raid