Russian engineers have introduced a robotic dog capable of carrying and firing weapons, Russia-based media outlets reported on Monday.
The robot debuted on Monday at Russia’s Army-2022 International Military-Technical Forum, an arms conference that will continue through the week. The arms conference is occurring amid Russia’s war with Ukraine, which has been ongoing for nearly six months.
A video clip shared online by RIA Novosti, a state-owned news agency, shows the robot prowling across a conference room floor on what looks like four legs. The robot’s legs can bend, turn the robot around and carry it forward and backward. The legs can also lower the robot so that it appears to be lying on the ground.
Twitter user Rob Lee shared a video that RIA Novosti posted to Telegram.
A spokesperson for the engineers who developed the robot told the Russian news agency that the robot can operate in civilian or wartime scenarios. It can travel through war-torn areas to deliver medications and survey the surroundings, the spokesperson said, and it can also move or fire weapons. RIA Novosti also reported in a post on Telegram that the robot can “be engaged in target designation, patrolling and security,” according to an English translation reported by Vice.
Russian President Vladimir Putin appeared at the conference’s opening ceremony on Monday to deliver an address to the domestic and international attendees. In that address, he described the event as one where visiting military professionals from other countries can learn about Russia’s developments in military equipment.
Putin spoke generally of equipment that he said “will shape ‘tomorrow’ of our armed forces,” but he did not specifically mention the robot dog or any other tools by name.
“We are talking about high-precision weapons and robotics, combat systems based on new physical principles,” Putin said. “Many of them are years, perhaps even decades ahead of their foreign counterparts, and significantly superior in terms of tactical and technical characteristics.”
The robot dog seen at the Army-2022 conference in Moscow is not the first appearance of a dog-like piece of military equipment. In the US, the Portland Air National Guard received its own four-legged robot earlier this year to use for security and surveillance, according to Military.com.
A police department in Florida also received another robot dog, known as SPOT, earlier this year. SPOT was capable of being used “in extraordinary situations that involve a threat to human life and/or risk for First Responders,” police said at the time.
The US Department of Defense declined news week‘s request for comment when contacted on Monday.