This metal marvel might just be the soldier of the future… but far from being science fiction, this one is real.
Affectionately known as Ivan the Terminator, Project Iron Man is a humanoid military robot currently being developed in Russia.
For years, the country has been trying to keep up with the U.S. and China, which are building robots, drones and other military hi-tech machines with great success.
The aim of the Russian robot soldier is to ‘replace the person in the battle or in emergency areas where there is a risk of explosion, fire, high background radiation, or other conditions that are harmful to humans’, Komosomolskaya Pravda reported.
Designed by Russia’s Foundation for Advanced Studies, Ivan is currently remote controlled by an operator (from up to several miles away) wearing a special suit, which contains sensors in the neck, hands and shoulders.
This enables the robot to accurately copy the movements of a human.
It can even drive a car – scanning the road for obstacles – albeit via a driving simulator computer screen.
A longer term goal is for the robot to carry out a ‘maturity test’ set of actions, including: complete an obstacle course; get into a car and start it; and enter a room and turn on the lights.
And, ultimately, no doubt, fire a gun and throw a grenade.
Then there is the elephant in the room: the ‘rise of the machines’ – the fear that one day, Ivan and his robo-warrior comrades will become self-aware and subjugate humans to their ‘iron’will.
However, the (relatively) more realistic question that springs to mind is: just what would Vladimir Putin do if he got his hands on an army of them?