China is looking to add toy-sized robots that pack assault rifles and grenades to its defence against terror after battle bots were unveiled at the World Robot Conference in Beijing. The miniature weapons called "armed attack" robots designed as antiterror machines and are the latest line-up of tech China is reportedly integrating into its military force.
Three versions of the model-sized robots were shown off were a reconnaissance robot able to detect poisonous gases, a bomb disposal bot and finally an attacker robot armed with "minor-calibre weapons, recoilless rifles and grenade launchers". The measurements were not disclosed but it has been reported the "reconnaissance" bot is small enough to fit on a soldier's back.
According to the Telegraph, Chinese state media claimed these are the country's defence against "global terror" and the Beijing police are reportedly one of the buyers of the three robots, which cost 1.5m yaun (£156, 000, $235,000).
''Apart from antiterror operations, they can also be applied in firefighting, public security, forestry and agriculture,'' said sales manager Chen Deqiang of manufacturer HIT Robot Group.
Other than doing their bit on the city streets or coming into action when an emergency strikes they are also expected to be rolled out on the front line as they can ''coordinate with other on the battlefield".
All manner of weird and wonderful robots were on show at the conference, which ran from 23-25 November in Beijing, including MIT's latest military dog-like robot to a mood-gauging humanoid that can deliver facial expressions and interact with humans.
China became the world's biggest buyer of robots back in 2013 as it overtook Japan and the adoption of these antiterror bots is the country's pro-active steps to help prevent a tragic event such as the Paris attacks as it has been on national alert for several months.