The Kremlin’s Advanced Research Foundation—Russia’s answer to the U.S. Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency—has begun testing artificial intelligence that allows a Marker experimental ground-combat vehicle to respond to the same orders that a commander issues to human soldiers.
As originally designed, the tracked Marker followed instructions that a human operator tapped into a computer tablet. “Then we tried the voice-control technology, when a commander gives orders to both his subordinates and the robots,” Oleg Martyanov, an ARF manager, told TASS. “We are developing it now.”
After a long delay, Russia finally is speeding ahead with developing sophisticated, combat-capable air and ground robots. The air force’s Hunter-B stealth drone flew for the first time in August 2019. The Russian army in May 2018 deployed at least one Uran-9 armed ground robot to Syria for combat trials.
But Uran-9 didn’t quite work as its designers intended. After just a month of combat, the Kremlin admitted the unmanned ground vehicle wasn’t ready for regular front-line use.