Marines at Camp Pendleton are testing new robots to help prepare them for work in the battlefield. The wig-wearing, human-looking robots are guided by GPS and move around on two wheels at a speed as high as 8 mph.
The Autonomous Robotic Human Type Targets, brought to Camp Pendleton by Australian contractors, can sustain thousands of gunshots, allowing Marines to enhance their live firing training.
The robots are programmed to be unpredictable and erratic, speeding up, slowing down and swerving just like real combatants might behave, said combat instructor Cpl. Aleksandr Bulymba in a Defense Department video.
“It’s a lot more realistic,” Bulymba said. “They play different scenarios for us, such as hostage scenarios, and we just practice our marksmanship on moving targets.”
The robots can also be programmed to respond to each other when they’re hit, or converge and move toward Marines in an offensive response.
Marines currently train with paper and steel targets that are mostly stationary or on a guided track, making them easily predictable.
The Marine Corps is thoroughly testing the robots before moving to use the technology in regular combat training.