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Video: USMC’s New Robot Rifle Targets

by John Reed on September 30, 2011

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:

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