Photo for representative purposes only.

A video clip from Russia which is going viral on social network shows an agile robot dog that has been armed with a Russian 9x53mm Saiga 9 semi-automatic carbine around a shooting range. The video shows the robot firing the gun in automatic mode with a carbine attached to it.

The advance could provide very useful to militaries. In 2021, the UK and the US along with several other advanced countries had begun to arm themselves with robot dogs which were intended for intelligence gathering, guarding, surveillance and recognition.

Now with an automatic rifle mounted on it, the technology is a complete game changer; it also changes the purpose of robot dogs.

“Ghost Robotics and SWORD International previously demonstrated a Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle, or SPUR, with an attached weapon system at the Association of the United States Army [AUSA] Annual Convention in Washington, DC, in 2021,” wrote The War Zone in a comment on a YouTube video clip featuring the armed robot dog.

In the video, on the right side of the robotic dog, there is a patch of Russian Special Forces. Either the patch was put there to increase its authority, or the armed robotic dog forms part of Russia’s Spetsnaz – its special forces.

In the video clip, the robotic dog appears to be “nervous” on the shooting range, and can be seen moving in a tightly configured scenario. It can be seen fifing a weapon on automatic mode, which is a problem since the recoil of the weapon is strong, and it is very likely that the bullets would have missed the target since the automatic fire raises its entire structure.

Perhaps, if it was configured for single fire mode, the experiment wold have been more effective. The experiment certainly looks more promising for achieving the ultimate goal – a robotic dog that can deliver lethal a strike.

The use of the 9x53mm Saiga 9 semi-automatic carbine is telling since this type of weapon is sold in Russia’s civilian market. Incidentally the inventor of the armed robotic dog is Alexander Atamanov, an inventor and technology entrepreneur who specializes in the civilian engineering industry.

The Saiga-9 semi-automatic carbine is built on shortened AK-74M-style stamped steel receiver and features a simple blowback action and fires from a closed bolt. It also features typical Kalashnikov trigger, hammer, and manual safety arrangements, adapted to semi-automatic only functioning. Its feed is from the double stack, double feed box magazines, made from plastic.

While its magazines are compatible with PP-19 Vityaz submachine guns, they are internally restricted to a 10-round capacity to comply with Russian laws.

Future versions for the Russian market includes a internal trigger locks that block firing when the shoulder stock is folded. Potential export versions may feature shorter barrels and no trigger lock. Its sights are based on a typical AK pattern, with adjustable V-notch rear sight and a protected front post. Integral Picatinny rail is provided on the top of the receiver cover.