Russia is preparing to test military robots in the Astrakhan region, an industrial outpost on the coast of the Caspian sea, about 1,500 kilometres (1,000 miles) south of Moscow.
The Moscow Times quotes Major Dmitry Andreyev, a representative for the Defence Ministry’s Strategic Missile Forces, who said in a statement to the Interfax news agency that the preparation for the testing is in the final stage.
The testing is part of a defence ministry’s initiative to deploy robots in protection of the intercontinental ballistic missile launch sites before 2020, according to The Moscow Times.
Military robotics is a top priority for Russia’s military future, given the length of the Russian border and the need for military operations in places unsuitable for humans, like the Arctic.
Back in 2010, RT (formerly known as “Russia Today”) broadcast this segment on the Russian military robotic program:
Russia’s military bots aren’t quite like the movie “Transformers,” if that’s what you had in mind. What Russia is testing is more similar to a small-scale automatic tank, controlled remotely by a human.
Below is some more recent footage of the robots to give you a better idea of what they are working on. It was also released by RT: