With heightened tensions around the world, the Russians have released a video of what could be a component of remotely fought conflicts — a robot that can fire the handguns it is gripping in each claw.
The humanoid packing a pair of 9mm Glocks may not be on the same level as the missiles North Korea had on parade last weekend or the “mother of all bombs” that the U.S. dropped on ISIS fighters holed up in Afghanistan on Apr. 13, but it seems to be yet another example of increasingly bellicose nations showing off their latest armaments.
The Russian RoboSoldier FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research) can be seen in videos posted on Twitter by an official of the Putin government blasting away at targets.
According to a translation of one tweet by the website RT of a Russian channel that is said to be controlled by the Kremlin, Vice Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin wrote, “A robot of the F.E.D.O.R. platform has shown skills of shooting with both hands. Work is underway on fine motor skills and decision-making algorithms.”
RT says FEDOR can already “use keys, extinguish a fire, drive a car and use a saw and a welding machine.”
About a year ago, an Israeli company unveiled a lightweight, remotely operated ground-combat robot that’s about the size of a robotic vacuum cleaner and can climb stairs. It also can fire a Glock, but just one.
And around the same time, videos emerged of drones that have been rigged up to fire handguns.
Maybe what’s next is an artificially intelligent RoboSoldier that can shoot, carry a small ground-combat unit in its backpack and call in armed drone strikes.