Russia’s cutting edge Marker robotic combat platform will be given an upgrade so it can test the next generation of robots for the Ministry of Defense, Russian Foundation for Advanced Research Projects CEO Andrei Grigoriyev announced.
Resembling a miniature tank with treads and turrets, the Marker is a robotic platform that provides a springboard for the development of other robotic technologies.
The vehicle can test the most advanced technologies for second generation combat robots that are still at the development phase, Grigoriyev explained, adding, “Marker is also a concept, developed specifically for the testing of third, fourth and fifth generation technologies.”
A joint project of the Foundation for Advanced Research — Russia’s counterpart to the US DARPA — and Russian company Android Technology, the Marker will serve as the basis for testing the interoperability of ground robots and unmanned aerial vehicles. The combat platform is being touted as a modular kit for creating unmanned vehicles for future warfare.
Last year, Foundation center for robotics head Oleg Martyanov stated that the project will continue even after final tests are complete. “The platform will be used as a testbed for deflecting new threats; new technological solutions,” he explained.
So far, the Marker has proven successful in shooting tests, performing even better than professional snipers. It can also detect, target, and strike small drones.
“We have already taught the Marker to fire not only from a sporting gun but also to hit flying discs from a Kalashnikov machine-gun many times faster than people do,” Martyanov said last year.
In December 2020, the Foundation also reported that the robotic platform had successfully passed fully autonomous navigation trials in Russia’s wintry conditions.
Analogous to a robotic soldier which adheres to the rules of war while protecting civilians, the combat robot is capable of selective firing, distinguishing between civilians and enemy troops.