China’s robot dog could evolve to a walking tank

FPI / March 9, 2023


By Richard Fisher

ABU DHABI — In June 2016 unmanned “walking” technology leader Boston Dynamics revealed its 23 kilogram four-leg dog-like robot called “Spot” that has since been developed for security, surveillance and supply missions and can be purchased for about $150,000.

Two of CJAIE’s “Tactic Robot Dog” unmanned ground vehicles (seen here and below) at Abu Dhabi’s 2023 IDEX show, likely made by the company “Unitree,” which will grow larger and be weaponized. / Richard Fisher /

In contrast to wheeled or tracked unmanned ground vehicles (UGVs), the walking dog can go up and down stairs to conduct operations in buildings or in rough wooded or urban terrain.

At Abu Dhabi’s Feb. 20-25 International Defense Exhibition (IDEX), two Chinese defense companies revealed their versions of the robot dog.

The China Jing An Import and Export Corporation (CJAIE) entertained attendees with demonstrations of 5- and 10-kilogram versions of its electrically-powered Tactic Robot Dog, the smaller version of which was maneuvered to step on the foot of this analyst.

A CJAIE official noted that the smaller robot had an endurance of 30 minutes while the larger model had an endurance of two hours.

This official also noted that the large robot had been tested with payloads of 20 kilograms up to 100 kilograms, and that the company intended to develop much larger versions.

According to multiple postings on Twitter, CJAIE’s robot dogs are likely made by the Chinese company Unitree; there are videos of this robot dog carrying a loudspeaker to warn city residents of virus restrictions, some carry rifles and mass of “dancing” robot dogs demonstrated “swarm” operations potential.

Unitree robot dogs have also been exported to Russia’s Ministry of Defense and to Iran proxy, Hizbullah.

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