Russian soldiers recently trained with artificial intelligence (AI) guided mobile targets at a shooting range near Moscow.
The introduction of the AI element in regular training at the Patriot Park Center has taken place rather unexpectedly. Trainees had been firing at prone, stationary targets. Suddenly, they found themselves greeted by dummies sporting fake machine guns moving towards them on caterpillar tracks, Russia’s ministry of defense TV channel, Tvzvezda.ru, reported.
The targets, an initiative of a high-tech manufacturer, use AI to hide from the trainees in the terrain and duck from bullets using “sophisticated train orientation mechanisms, laser sensors, and navigation systems,” Tvzvezda.ru said.
Capable of Working in Groups
The manufacturer claims the targets are capable of independently analyzing situations and acting in coordination with other robots.
The moving targets can function as allied troops and move with Russian soldiers, or as enemy troops carrying out different scenarios, “such as getting out of an ambush, bypassing our troops, or organizing an ambush,” said Pavel Ikomasov, a leading software engineer at the company developing the robotic targets, to Tvzvezda.ru.
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The soldiers have reportedly been positive about the AI-enabled targets as they found them more challenging and closer to real-life situations compared to previous static ones.
The technology is at a nascent stage and the prototypes don’t even have a name yet. However, in the future, groups of such robots can be used to simulate realistic battlefield situations to train soldiers in offensive and defensive exercises.