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Russia develops voice-controlled robots for future conflict


Testing trials for independent, voice-controlled robots have been launched by Russian technology specialists, with intentions of using the robots for military purposes.

The robots, when passing the trials, will be serving side by side with human soldiers. According to Forbes, these androids, which resemble miniature tanks with treads and turrets, will then likely replace live soldiers in future conflicts.

Army personnel will be testing the robots by giving them vocal commands, in the same way they would talk to a human soldier, project leader Oleg Martyanov told Russian news service TASS.

Initially, Martyanov said, the idea was to control the robots via a tablet. “Then we tried the voice control technology when a commander gives orders to both his subordinates and the robots. We are developing it now.”

Currently, specialists are also trying to increase long-distance control. Right now, the operator loses contact after the robot has travelled between two and five kilometres.

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The robots will be controlled by an operating system called the ‘Marker’, which functions almost like a robotic brain. The Marker streamlines movements and navigation, preventing the robots from crashing into objects.

“Our goal is to teach the Marker to perform tasks on its own at a significant distance from the operator, at a distance determined by the robotic platform’s range,” Martyanov said.

The Marker-controlled robot will have a range of up to 500 kilometres. In addition, the robot will be able to update its own travel directions. It will also be able to identify targets independently.

The voice control trials are part of Russia’s wider ambition of building military robots specifically for modern combat.

Amée Zoutberg
The Brussels Times

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