Photo Credit: Dmitriy Fomin via Flickr
Uran-9, a tracked unmanned combat ground vehicle (UCGV) developed and produced by Kalashnikov.

Russian specialists are conducting tests of controlling combat robots with voice commands, with commanders issuing orders to the robotic complex in the same way they do with human soldiers, Oleg Martyanov, head of the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects’ National Center for Development of Technologies and Basic Elements of Robotics told TASS on Monday.

According to Martyanov, the robots were initially made to be controlled by an electronic tablet, but “then we tried the voice control technology, when a commander gives orders to both his subordinates and the robots. We are developing it now,” Martyanov said.

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The new solutions on robot control are being tested on the Marker robotic platform, he said. Back in 2019, Russia released footage of its experimental multipurpose robotic platform Marker, which it says can be used as a combat vehicle, synchronized infantry support unit, drone coordination system, thanks to its modular design

“The Marker is learning to understand the received command and act, like a human,” Martyanov said.

According to TASS, Russian specialists also work on increasing the robots’ autonomy, because the distance of operator control today does not exceed 2 to 5 kilometres.

“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 told TASS, adding that the Marker is supposed to be able to update its route and target locations on its own, by launching a reconnaissance drone. The Marker can move up to 500 kilometers away from its launch base.

The Marker robotic platform is the joint project of the Center and the Android Technics Scientific Production Association, the developer of the FEDOR/Skybot android. The platform is expected to become the key element for joint operations of ground robots, unmanned aviation and special operations forces.

The Marker is also positioned as a construction set for development of combat models in the future.

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