Video: USMC’s New Robot Rifle Targets

I came across this creepy looking dude this week at the Modern Day Marine expo in Quantico, Va. The autonomous robot is the latest in targeting tech being used by the U.S. Marine Corps.

Made by the Aussie firm Marathon Targets, the robot is designed to move at human speeds and can be deployed in packs of randomly moving targets — giving troops experience firing at moving targets before entering combat. The robots can be programmed to scatter or move as if making a counterattack when they are fired at and trainers can even decide how many hits it takes to eliminate one of the robots. The upper half is built of durable plastic designed to absorb small arms fire while the motor and electronic parts sit in the armored boxes at the bottom of the robot.

“The design objective was to fill the existing gap in training in all countries — the lack of realistic target training,” Martahon Targets’ co-founder Alex Makarenko told DT yesterday during this year’s Modern Day Marine expo in Quantico, Va. “What happens today is a situation where soldiers, for the first time shoot at realistic moving targets [only] once they are in a firefight in a war zone. This is the most realistic target you can buy today. Because it’s trackless, we can make it look like, move like and even behave like people.”

Marathon is on contract to deliver a set of the targets to the Marines later this year, according to Makarenko.

Click through the jump to watch a video of Marines shooting at the targets during an evaluation last June:

16 Comments on "Video: USMC’s New Robot Rifle Targets"

  1. Aww I miss the pop-up targets……

  2. Targets?! Why use those for targeting? Put a real gun on them and ship them out…! :)

  3. Am I the only fellow here who's pleased that we're shooting Segways?

  4. Looks like Osama on a Segway.

  5. Looks fun when do they sell them to gun clubs too? LOL

  6. he was supposed to get 72 virgins, but I only see one 'virgibot'. this is unfair to bin laden.
    ;-)

  7. Pretty cool.

    For some critique though, the bottom looks like it needs to be hardened from bullets? Maybe round out the edges to deflect bullets more? I always am in awe at how much money is spent on defense, and if we are going to use robots as target dummies, mine as well make them last because im sure they are expensive for targets. Like one stray shot to the wheel base and you make it inoperable?

    When I join the military maybe I will get to see them in action!

  8. More live fire target practice. Do the faces come with Saddam's and Osama's faces?

  9. In the documentary film ‘Short Circuit’ a lightning strike gave Number5 self-awareness. It can only be a matter of time before one of these begins to realise what is happening.

    I’m concerned that these robots have cruelly not been given the means to articulate their reluctance to be shot. I would be much more comfortable if the military used zombies for target practise instead.

    Robots are people too.

  10. In the documentary film ‘Short Circuit’ a lightning strike gave Number5 self-awareness. It can only be a matter of time before one of these begins to realise what is happening.

    I’m concerned that these robots have cruelly not been given the means to articulate their reluctance to be shot. I would be much more comfortable if the military used zombies for target practise instead.

    Robots are people too.

  11. STUPID waste of $$$, this segway. If you want more realistic way to train soldiers how to take down moving targets whey don't they do this?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YzB8X9-g32A&
    Jump to 6:07
    Video showing OPFOR that's attached to Korean Combat Training Center (KCTC) in target shooting training. These guys practice shooting blanks (with MILES) on fellow soldiers who are trying hard to not get shot (or painted). Much more realistic training for shooting down 'moving/ducking' targets, AND also teaches 'targets' not to get shot, which is just as important as target shooting.

  12. It would be better if the Marines on the range did a 5km run with packs on and then have a smoke grenade to obscure the target in order to achieve realism.

  13. lads, this system works. it's been used by Australian SASR for a while now.
    while these units make a good target, I believe the idea behind the system is to assist a shooters awareness and improve operating procedures regarding target observation and engagement. I did not see where the makers of this product believe it would replace other forms of training.

  14. The training looks good. Shows accuracy from those Marines, if that was the results of this training, then is effective!

  15. These targets are not shooting back. Amazing how much that little detail will change the experience.

  16. Kski Didn't you mean the faces of maddam bulosi and presyomama? Now THAT would be worth shootin' for…..Priceless!

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