|Rise of the machines? There is a fear that one day, Ivan and his robo-warrior comrades will become self-aware and subjugate humans to their 'iron'will|
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.
This humanoid military robot is currently being developed in Russia. Its purpose 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'
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 simulate driving a car
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.
Ivan is put through its paces on a treadmill. For years, Russia 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
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?
CAMPAIGN TO STOP 'KILLER ROBOTS' (BEFORE IT'S TOO LATE...)
A killer cyborg from the film Terminator:Genisys
Technology allowing a pre-programmed robot to shoot to kill, or a tank to fire at a target with no human involvement, is only years away, experts say.
A report published in April called for a ban on such 'killer robots.'
The report by Human Rights Watch and the Harvard Law School International Human Rights Clinic was released as the United Nations kicked off a week-long meeting on such weapons in Geneva.
The report calls for humans to remain in control over all weapons systems at a time of rapid technological advances.
It says that requiring humans to remain in control of critical functions during combat, including the selection of targets, saves lives and ensures that fighters comply with international law.
'Machines have long served as instruments of war, but historically humans have directed how they are used,' said Bonnie Docherty, senior arms division researcher at Human Rights Watch, in a statement.
'Now there is a real threat that humans would relinquish their control and delegate life-and-death decisions to machines.'
Some have argued in favour of robots on the battlefield, saying their use could save lives.
But last year, more than 1,000 technology and robotics experts — including scientist Stephen Hawking, Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk and Apple co-founder Steve Wozniak — warned that such weapons could be developed within years, not decades.
In an open letter, they argued that if any major military power pushes ahead with development of autonomous weapons, 'a global arms race is virtually inevitable, and the endpoint of this technological trajectory is obvious: autonomous weapons will become the Kalashnikovs of tomorrow'.
According to the London-based organisation Campaign to Stop Killer Robots, the United States, China, Israel, South Korea, Russia, and Britain are moving toward systems that would give machines greater combat autonomy.
Human Rights Watch is a co-founder of the organisation.
The U.N. meeting of experts on the issue, chaired by Germany, continues talks that took place in April 2015 and May 2014.