Russia has recently made headlines, not because of Syria, but for a rather ‘sinister’ thing. Some of you may be aware of FEDOR (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research), the anthropomorphous robot destined to be a cosmonaut in 2021. Apparently, the roboticists over at Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects (Russia’s DARPA equivalent), the organization behind FEDOR, has made pretty insane progress which saw the bipedal robot doing a range of things including leopard crawling, carry heavy load, resisting pushover and delicate tasks like using keys, handling a variety of tools, and supposedly, even driving a car.
No shit. FEDOR can do all those and the AI it has is sophisticated enough, it could be taking over our jobs in not too distance future. But losing our jobs to machines is the least of our concern because, this space-bound humanoid robot was shown being trained to handle firearms. Yes. You heard that right. This thing shoots too! In a video posted on Twitter by Russia Federation Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, FEDOR can be seen firing two guns, one on each hand, at multiple targets alongside a human shooter (but the targets weren’t very far ahead).
Robot FEDOR showed the ability to shoot from both hands. Fine motor skills and decision-making algorithms are still being improved pic.twitter.com/Y7IsciocPW
— Dmitry Rogozin (@DRogozin) April 14, 2017
What’s eery about this is, FEDOR did it very quickly and very accurately, which begs the question: is the Russian making Terminator a reality? Well, about that, the Deputy Prime Minister reassures the world that they are “creating AI, not Terminator.” The purpose of the shooting was a way to teach the robot instant decision-making skills. So great. Now, dear FEDOR knows how to shoot and it also safe to assume it can remember the how-to.
So, is there a possibility that FEDOR will be become a soldier someday? Or perhaps FEDOR is expected to bear arms and possibly use them against hostile aliens while out in space? Who knows. One thing for sure, when it comes to bipedal robot, Russian seems to be excelling in making them.
P.S. We can’t find the said video on dear Deputy PM’s Twitter, but luck for us, someone has uploaded it to YouTube which you can find in the embedded video below. For the impatience, jump to 1:02 for the robot part of the action.