The Russian Army reportedly gave crowds a glimpse of its combat robot called the Platform-M at a showcase in Sevastopol, a city on the Crimean Peninsula, according to Russia Today. The robot, which was remote controlled and moved through a set of tracks, boasts significant firepower.
The Platform-M -- first revealed last summer in Russian military drills Kaliningrad -- is equipped with grenade launchers and Kalashnikov rifles. Gizmodo reported at the time that the robot, which the site described as "killer Wall-E robot soldiers," was already in mass production but wouldn't be in available for active duty until 2018.
Along with the rifles and grenade launchers, the Platform-M also features "optical-electronic and radio reconnaissance locators," that allow it to function covertly at night, reported Russia Today. A video posted by Russia Today from the open-air expo appears to show the robot performing a number of tasks in front of crowds.
The robot's developer, Progress Scientific Research Technological Institute of Izhevsk, said the Platform-M can be "used for gathering intelligence, for discovering and eliminating stationary and mobile targets, for firepower support, for patrolling and for guarding important sites. The unit's weapons can be guided, it can carry out supportive tasks and it can destroy targets in automatic or semiautomatic control systems," according to Gizmodo.
Russia was also working on another robot platform, the URP-01G, that can reach speeds of 25 mph and operate as far as 10 miles away from where it is controlled, according to Russian news agency TASS. The robot was reportedly designed to function in conditions not suitable for people, like Arctic expeditions and fire-extinguishing missions. It's also being equipped for combat similarly to the Platform-M.
"At present, the firm Sistemprom [the platform developer] is developing a unique automated combat module with large-caliber machine-guns and the grenade launcher compartment and is designing the strike and reconnaissance modules with the use of aircraft," a defense official said, according to TASS.