This robot could be one of many to eventually replace humans.
A new robot called FEDOR, Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, is being developed by Russia and has some people worried about its capabilities. The robot is being built by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund and has demonstrated complex functions and uses that are reminiscent of The Terminator, a fictional human-like robot that is deployed by the government to carry out militarized attacks against civilians.
FEDOR has been recorded shooting guns with both hands, along with a slew of other tasks, but Russian authorities have insisted that FEDOR is being taught these skills in an effort to build up its overall motor skills.
“Robot platform F.E.D.O.R. showed shooting skills with two hands,” said Russia’s Deputy Prime Minister, Dmitry Rogozin, on Twitter. “We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.”
— Дмитрий Рогозин (@Rogozin) April 13, 2017
FEDOR has also been photographed driving a car, weight training, soldering, screwing in lightbulbs, and learning to use a handful of other man-made tools. In addition to building up the Android’s motor skills, the activities are apparently helping the robot learn decision-making as well as building an arsenal of knowledge for when it leaves on a space mission in 2021.
The mission is allegedly a solo one in which FEDOR will board Russia’s Federation spacecraft and be the craft’s first pilot ever. The spacecraft is supposed to have an autonomous flight period of up to 30 days and be able to dock to a space station for up to a year. Though its first flight will technically be unmanned, it will be able to transport up to 4 people and cargo to the Moon and back.
FEDOR was reportedly made originally for rescue work, in which robots are more frequently being turned to for efforts in which human involvement can be too risky, but its purpose has been diverted to the space mission. Engineers have also suggested that FEDOR’s abilities could be applied to military uses, which is why people fear that it could become a terminator-like robot.
“It will have huge applied value for different spheres of life. Combat robotics is a key to building intellectual machines. This is applicable to areas including aviation and space,” Rogozin said in another tweet.
Lord Martin Rees, the Astronomer Royal and Emeritus Professor of Cosmology and Astrophysics at the University of Cambridge has expressed concerns over the training of FEDOR because of his belief that a robot takeover could happen sooner rather than later.
“Machines could take over from humans (labor) within a few centuries,” Rees specified. “If it does exist, alien intelligence could be ‘electronic’ in nature. Robots are better suited to space exploration than humans will ever be.”
Since FEDOR is already so advanced and will already be completing a space mission in the coming years, Rees could be correct in his fears that robots, rather than humans, are the future of Earth. Of course, that remains to be seen, and only time will tell what role robots have on this planet and the exploration of others. Watch the video below to see FEDOR in action.