Russian Air Force Academy cadets have developed a new robot disguised as a stone for use in military surveillance, the Defense Ministry’s Zvezda news channel reported.
In a video uploaded on social media last week, the camouflaged surveillance device “the size of a small pet” navigated grassy terrain using caterpillar wheels. A mini-camera mounted on top of the device was also displayed in the footage.
The robot has a passive battery life that allows it to collect, process, and transmit information for 15 hours, Zvezda said. Its operator can be positioned up to two kilometers (1.2 miles) away to operate the “spy rock.”
The device is activated when its motion sensor is triggered, and it begins recording video and audio of its surroundings, transferring all collected data to army headquarters.
“Due to its disguise and ability to change positions, it can come in handy in trench warfare,” Zvezda reported.
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Earlier this month, Russian President Vladimir Putin urged local manufacturers to continue developing cutting-edge systems to bolster the country’s defense capabilities in the face of potential threats.
A few weeks before he made the statement, Russia’s Marker robotic platform developers revealed a state-of-the-art automated solution to combat drone intruders.
Utilizing electronic pulses and capturing network features, the unmanned system can identify unauthorized individuals, motor vehicles, and aerial vehicles. It then applies countermeasures depending on the type of threat.
Russia has also completed development of its first four-legged walking robot prototype to conduct surveillance.
The developers assert that walking robotic platforms are better than wheeled options to traverse a variety of surfaces. “We believe that this development of engineers at Moscow University will give a serious impetus to the development of four-legged robots in our country,” lead engineer Anton Rogachev said in a press release.