China looks to bolster its military innovation with armed robot dog

Social media has been alarmed by the appearance of a ground drone that is accompanying its military drills in Cambodia.

The Chinese military carried out a joint military exercise with Cambodia, an allied country, after which they posted propaganda images. One that stood out the most was of a robot dog armed with an automatic rifle.

Images of this new Chinese development have gone viral on social media, with users alarmed by China's rapid development in the field of military robotics. The response is proof that, at least this time, the Chinese propaganda apparatus worked.

The images show the device, a four-legged remote-controlled robot that carries a QBZ-95, the standardized rifle in the Chinese military, on its back. The machine is seen moving around, interacting with its surroundings and opening fire in real drills in which it shares the mock battlefield with conventional infantry.

These are the first images that the Chinese military has published in which this type of armed robots are seen in use in a live drill. Its appearance in military exercises abroad suggests that China has been long developing these remote-controlled devices.

"It can serve as a new member in our urban combat operations, replacing our [human] members to carry out reconnaissance and identify the enemy and attack the target," says a Chinese soldier in a video on state broadcaster CCTV.

The images show how the robot performs exploration tasks thanks to the camera it carries. It also performs assault maneuvers against closed spaces, opening the way for human soldiers.

Use of drones and military robotics

Although social media users have been alarmed by the use of the drone with a firearm, this type of technology is not new. However, land-based drones are often less popular than unmanned aerial devices or marine drones.

Boston Dynamics has been developing robots and drones of the same type for years, and from the beginning, its use in war has been considered. Many other companies have developed their own four-legged drone models since then.

In 2022, Chinese defense companies presented other different models of armed quadruped drones, some even of apparently higher quality. However, it seems that Chinese state media places special emphasis on them as a sign of technological progress.