Russia’s Prime Minister Dmitry Rogozin showed off the new skills of the Fedor robot, which can shoot guns. Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research (FEDOR) is a Russian robot designed for space missions.

Fedor will be launched to the International Space Station on 2021 to conduct tasks that are considered too dangerous for astronauts to perform in space.

The Prime Minister assured people that Russia is not creating a Terminator-like killing machine, as people are concerned for some of the robot’s abilities. Rogozin said that the robot’s training helps hone artificial intelligence. He also said the war in Syria had shown Russian government the importance of robots in demanding environments.

“Combat robotics is key to making intelligent machines,” said Rogozin, according to Tech Times. “This is applicable to areas including aviation and space.”

Russian Space Robot FEDOR
Russian robot FEDOR can hold tools and operate them accurately, including guns. Image Source: Daily Dot

Russia’s Fedor robot can shoot targets with impressive precision

Fedor has also been trained to do other tasks like walking upright, doing push-ups, screwing a light bulb, operating a drill, and driving a vehicle. However, Fedor’s ability to shoot guns has raised concerns among people and has earned the robot the “Terminator” nickname, referencing the famous movie franchise that features killing robots.

Rogozin shared multiple photos of the “cyber cosmonaut” robot on Twitter and Facebook and a short video where Fedor is seen firing two pistols at a target board with outstanding precision using both hands. The robot was originally developed for rescue missions until military applications were suggested. Fedor was unveiled in 2016 by the Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects.

Fedor is six-foot tall and weighs around 233 pounds. The robot can also lift up to 44 pounds of cargo, and it can be controlled remotely by a person wearing a particular suit. Fedor can also work autonomously or respond to voice commands. It can also endure extreme temperatures on the moon without the need for a space suit, and it can stay out in the open space for extended periods of time without any harm resulting from it. The cyber-cosmonaut was developed by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund, and it will be the only passenger on board Russia’s Federation spacecraft scheduled to launch to the ISS on 2021.

FEDOR is able to accomplish plenty of task, like operating a handgun
The newly unveiled robot FEDOR is set to help astronauts in space missions that require off-ship tasks. Image Source:

Russia plans to include more robots into space programs and send humans to the moon

Sergei Khurs, director of Russia’s National Center for Technology Development and Basic Robotics and head of the Fedor project, believes that during spacewalks and missions and other planets, astronauts will rely on robots. He says that their capabilities are equal to those of humans, and in some ways they even exceed them.

Alexander Grebenshchikov, director of TSNIImash laboratory of space robotics, said that every hour of spacewalks costs between $2 million and $4 million, according to Mirror U.K. Grebenshchikov believes that using robots for routine operations will spare additional time of the crew for the fulfillment of other important tasks.

Russia recently announced that they planned to send humans to the Moon by 2031. Vladimir Solntsev announced the plans from rocket company Energia, who added that an unmanned spacecraft would fly around the moon in 2026, and the next year an unmanned spacecraft would practice landing on the moon. In 2029 another unmanned mission would set off to the moon, and in 2031 there would finally be a manned spacecraft landing on the moon.

People are concerned about AI potentially taking over the world

Lord Martin Rees, Astronomer Royal from the University of Cambridge, recently warned people that machines could soon take over humans. Stephen Hawking, Elon Musk and Bill Gates in the past have also expressed their worries on artificial intelligence.

“I am in the camp that is concerned about super intelligence. First the machines will do a lot of jobs for us and not be super intelligent,” wrote Gates during a Reddit Ask Me Anything interview. “That should me positive if we manage it well.”

Gates added that, however, that a few decades after that the intelligence could be robust enough to be a concern. Gates says that he coincides with Elon Musk and some other people regarding the subject and adds he doesn’t understand why some people are not concerned.

Some individuals have even begun developing ways to prevent AI from taking over humanity. Researchers from Google’s AI division, DeepMind, and researchers from Oxford University, are working together to develop a kill switch for AI.

Other specialists believe that a big red button might be necessary for humans to prevent artificial intelligence from doing dangerous things, and that AI could be coded never to ignore instructions from people.

The United Nations started taking actions on the subject, as last year in the Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons in Geneva, 123 nations voted to start discussions on the dangers of killer robots.

Source: Tech Times