Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research, or “FEDOR,” is a six-foot tall, 233-pound human-shaped robot. It was created by Android Technics and the Advanced Research Fund, both of which are located in Moscow, Russia. If things go as planned for the Russian government, expect to see much more of FEDOR in the coming years. But until then, these two robotics teams are hard at work testing the machine’s ability to drive, change light bulbs, lift weights, and wield guns.
Russia continues to support FEDOR’s development with the ultimate goal of sending it to the International Space Station by 2021 to aid human astronauts with their own missions. After all, the FEDOR robot doesn’t need a space suit, can easily survive extreme temperatures a fragile human can’t, and its developers have demonstrated just how dexterous FEDOR’s human-like hands are in a few videos. Apparently, FEDOR’s innovative mechanical hands and advanced AI allow it to successfully drive a car while properly steering the wheel, pick up and use power tools, and worryingly enough, hold, aim, and take out a series of targets with a pistol in each hand
Dmitry Rogozin, Russia’s prime minister, commented about FEDOR and his future on Twitter:
Robot platform FEDOR showed shooting skills with two hands. Shooting exercises as a method of teaching the robot to set priorities and make instant decisions. We are not creating a Terminator, but artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields.
Is FEDOR’s time on the shooting range really helping to improve on its AI to make split-second decisions when it’s floating alongside astronauts on the ISS, or are the Russians building a battle droid for the future of warfare? Probably the latter, but Russia isn’t the only superpower creating space robots.
Get ready to see more of NASA’s R5 Valkyrie robots in the near future; these advanced feminine robots are being developed to see how they can handle walking, setting up equipment, and repairing other high-tech devices in a realistic Martian simulation, in the hopes that robots will eventually build a Martian colony for humanity.
With that said, Valkyrie obviously needs chaingun hands or a rocket launcher if she’s going to take down her Russian counterpart. FEDOR might be going to space, but if Valkyrie is destined for Mars, she’ll leave FEDOR in her red dust anyway.