A Russian robot is scheduled to exit the Earth’s atmosphere in 2021, but it first needs to learn some basic skills before beginning its voyage. “FEDOR” already knows how to drive and put out a fire, but what happens if it gets ambushed by extraterrestrials?
Russia’s deputy Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin said the android was designed to benefit mankind, despite its threatening demeanour.
“We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields,” he said.
FEDOR, which stands for Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, is a humanoid robot created for manned space missions. First announced in October, the machine is designed to buddy up with cosmonauts on space missions by the year 2021. There’s a chance, however, that FEDOR will go into space alone.
FEDOR has been previously shown completing a variety of tasks, like operating a drill, driving a car, completing a series of push-ups, and even talking to cosmonauts to receive instructions. On Thursday, Rogozin shared pictures and a video of the bot in a new scenario – wielding two pistols out on the shooting range.
It wouldn’t be the first time humans decided to send robots into space – in 2015, NASA gave MIT a pair of humanoid robot prototypes in preparation for a Mars mission. Those ones looked a lot less shooty, though, instead focusing on disaster relief training before the big space trip.
— Дмитрий Рогозин (@Rogozin) April 14, 2017
Rogozin has made no secret of the fact he wants robots in the military. In 2013, he said that he believed one day robots would enable a soldier to do the work of up to 10 personnel. In 2014, a video was released showing a Mobile Robotic Complex, or MRK, firing a machine gun.
Although FEDOR has been trained to shoot guns, Rogozin claims this is only a way of improving its motor skills and decision making. However, FEDOR is shown in a very military-centric video, with tanks practicing target fire at moving platforms. For all the claims the bot is not a Terminator, it certainly does a lot of shooting.