Military Review

Marker project: the robot is preparing for new tests

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Since 2018, the National Center for the Development of Technologies and Basic Elements of Robotics of the Foundation for Advanced Research and the Android Technology company have been working on the Marker experimental platform. Last year, this development was first presented to the public, and recently the new details of the work carried out and plans for the future became known.


According to official data


On April 21, TASS published an interview with the head of the Scientific and Technical Council and the Deputy General Director of the FPI Vitaly Davydov. The topic of conversation was new developments in the field of robotics - including experimental robotic platform "Marker".

The representative of the FPI recalled the objectives of the project. Using the "Marker", technologies are being developed to create and use promising military-oriented RTKs. Methods of independent work and interaction with people, other robots or weapons and military equipment are being developed. During these processes, specific technical solutions are checked in all major areas. The best ideas are selected and developed.


The ultimate goal of the Marker pilot project is to create a fully autonomous RTK capable of independently performing a wide range of activities. The operator will be able to set a task, and the robot will decide all other issues independently - to build a route, search for a target and use weapons.

At the same time, Marker remains a pilot project for working out specific solutions. For this, the platform has an open architecture that allows you to implement and test various devices and components of domestic development.

Passed and planned


The project implements not only autonomy, but also a teleoperator mode. It can be useful when performing certain tasks, for example, when clearing mines or carrying out work in conditions dangerous to humans. Moreover, as noted by V. Davydov, telecontrol is a completed stage - now all attention is focused on more complex developments.


At the time of the first demonstration to the general public, Marker RTC could independently build routes, go to the indicated points and fire. Research and design work is ongoing, which is already leading to new results.

According to V. Davydov, the complex has already "mastered" the use of small arms weapons. With its help, it independently affects both ground and air targets. In the near future should begin testing a new complex of weapons, including grenade launchers. This will expand the range of combat missions.

In the near future, the Marker RTC will include unmanned aerial vehicles. With their help, it is proposed to carry out reconnaissance and increase situational awareness, as well as to strike at some targets. It is possible to use both UAVs and so-called. barrage of ammunition.


Any operations with weapons should be carried out under the control of the commander, depending on the existing conditions and assigned tasks. There are several options for the use of technology. The first provides for autonomous work in a given area. In the second case, the robot must support the unit and receive specific tasks from its commander.

Expected Outcomes


Work on the experimental platform "Marker" is planned to be completed next year. By this time, several experimental machines will be built to demonstrate the capabilities of the platform and its basic solutions. However, the main result of the project will be a set of the most successful and effective technologies suitable for use in promising projects.

According to V. Davydov, in the near future a full-fledged demonstration RTK will appear. It will include five robotic platforms with different equipment. Prototypes will carry machine-gun and grenade launchers, as well as devices for launching UAVs and barrage ammunition. Such a composition of the RTK will allow us to show all the capabilities of the technology obtained through promising ideas and solutions.


How soon similar equipment can get into the troops, the FPI leadership does not say. The objective of the Fund and related enterprises is to develop technologies and create experimental models. The development of equipment for full operation should be carried out by a separate order of the Ministry of Defense, the Ministry of Internal Affairs or other structures.

Experimental samples


The first messages about the Marker program appeared at the beginning of last year. Since then, FPI and Android Technology have repeatedly talked about current work and even published a video of testing equipment at the training ground. For testing, built two experimental platforms with different target equipment. In the near future should appear three more products with a different payload.

The Marker robotic platform is a medium-sized tracked vehicle equipped with a set of electronic equipment and having a seat for the target load. The possibility of building a wheeled vehicle with the same equipment and the same capabilities is claimed. The structure of the robotic complex includes several platforms with different equipment, an operator console and other components.

The platform integrates remote control, autopilot, computer system, vision system, etc. The composition of the equipment may vary to conduct certain studies. So, in the current tests, platforms with a machine-gun-grenade launcher module and with a device for launching an UAV are involved.


At the end of July last year, it was reported that the Marker successfully passed sea trials. Machines have shown their ability to independently build a route to a given point and overcome it. In the near future it was planned to begin fire tests. In October, FPI and Android Technology were again shown at the training ground.

At the end of November, the FPI announced that in the first half of 2020, test firing with autonomous operation should begin. Then it became known that in the future two prototypes on a wheeled chassis will join two tracked platforms.

Prospects for Directions


As the developers have repeatedly mentioned, the goal of the current Marker program is to create a set of technologies and solutions for the further development of promising RTKs. While they are being worked out with the help of experimental platforms. In the future, if there is interest from a potential customer, the development of full-fledged combat systems is possible.


An order for such equipment may appear in the very near future. Work on the new project will take several years, after which the Russian army will be able to get a fundamentally new model of equipment. Unlike a number of existing RTKs, promising systems based on operating time according to Marker will be able to work not only according to operator’s commands, but also independently.

Thanks to this, a mechanical "fighter" will appear in the various divisions, capable of helping living soldiers or replacing them. In this case, the interaction of man and the RTK will be as simple and convenient as possible, in accordance with the requirements of use on the battlefield.

However, autonomous RTKs of new types will appear in the army no earlier than in a few years. In the meantime, the main task in this direction is to continue the development and testing of existing experimental systems, such as the Marker platform. In the very near future, its developers will begin a new phase of testing, and then the appearance of new experimental equipment is expected. The "Marker" in its current form will not get into the troops, but will open the way for other equipment with the same or improved capabilities.
Author:
Photos used:
FPI / fpi.gov.ru
16 comments
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  1. Peter is not the first
    Peter is not the first April 23 2020 08: 33 New
    0
    Confusion in the article. At the beginning of the article, the complex has already mastered the use of weapons, and even an independent one: "... the complex has already" mastered "the use of small arms. With its help, it independently strikes both ground and air targets.", And in the second half of the article, it is said, that tests for the use of weapons are only planned: "At the end of November, the FPI announced that in the first half of 2020, test firing with work in autonomous mode should begin." (Just don’t say that in the first case there was small arms, and in the second there were grenade launchers. I don’t see a fundamentally big difference in the operation of the algorithms for targeting and making decisions to open fire, and the descent itself, I don’t see.)
    And the words "independently", "offline" are scary. So far, it seems that no one has reached such an extent in giving up the reins of government to artificial intelligence. Without the "friend or foe" system, such a complex can begin to shoot off its immediate surroundings until the ammunition load is exhausted.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 23 2020 09: 14 New
      +2
      Quote: Peter is not the first
      Confusion in the article. At the beginning of the article, the complex has already mastered the use of weapons, and even an independent one: "... the complex has already" mastered "the use of small arms. With its help, it independently strikes both ground and air targets.", And in the second half of the article, it is said, that tests for the use of weapons are only planned:

      No confusion.
      There is fire training, there is tactical training. Passing offsets in the first does not mean that the second discipline is fully mastered.



      Quote: Peter is not the first
      And the words "independently", "offline" are scary. So far, it seems that no one has reached such an extent in giving up the reins of government to artificial intelligence. Without the "friend or foe" system, such a complex can begin to shoot off its immediate surroundings until the ammunition load is exhausted.

      That is, it will become just as dangerous. how are your mines?
      1. Peter is not the first
        Peter is not the first April 23 2020 15: 48 New
        0
        He is much more dangerous than his mines. The minefield must be marked and if the person is adequate, then he will not climb into dangerous territory. But with an "independent" robot, it is more difficult: He will be given the command to move to the area and act there, and this does not mean for AI at all that it is necessary to stand at one point and destroy only what you see, and this may no longer be the territory of the enemy, when he gets there. And he will be in a free search, which means he will move and look for victims, i.e. the "mine" itself - the robot is already chasing a person. So it's more dangerous, and much more.
        1. Lopatov
          Lopatov April 23 2020 16: 14 New
          0
          Quote: Peter is not the first
          Minefield should be indicated

          ?????
          I don't quite know. as. For example, the "Hurricane" battalion shot out, and then a soldier runs there to place landmarks?
          1. Peter is not the first
            Peter is not the first April 23 2020 16: 30 New
            0
            I completely agree with you, such a minefield will not be indicated by a soldier with landmarks. But you forgot to add that it was placed deep in the enemy’s defense, and that mines for long-distance remote mining always have self-destructive weapons.
            So a smart car with AI will still be more dangerous than a stationary mine on a designated minefield or a stationary mine on an unmarked minefield after a period of self-destruction.
            1. Lopatov
              Lopatov April 23 2020 16: 40 New
              0
              Quote: Peter is not the first
              But you forgot to add that he was placed in the depths of the enemy’s defense

              Not necessarily.
              Quote: Peter is not the first
              and that mines for long-distance mining are always self-destructive.

              And the robot "runs out of batteries"
  2. Vladimir_2U
    Vladimir_2U April 23 2020 08: 45 New
    +1
    Well, finally a normal robot, at least outwardly. And then either a barn, or some kind of wood lice on trembling legs.
  3. Leomobil
    Leomobil April 23 2020 15: 19 New
    -2
    I was very pleased with this article! Obviously, these people (developers) do not understand at all what needs to be built, hiding behind phrases about the development of technical solutions. They stalk in all directions like blind kittens, claiming that (I quote) - "In the future, if there is interest from a potential customer, it is possible to develop full-fledged combat systems" - and who is this notorious "potential customer"? An armored hoofed air submarine manipulator? wink
    Not having a complete concept of application and management, it will be very difficult to find a "potential" idiot (according to the well-known joke "Not everyone in the army is fools, but all are fools in the army"), and it will be very difficult to hear anything intelligible from the customer, even more so. Generals are always preparing for the last war.
    1. Lopatov
      Lopatov April 23 2020 17: 16 New
      +1
      Quote: Leomobil
      Obviously, these people (developers) absolutely do not understand what needs to be built

      It is intended! (with)
      Moreover, at the moment no one in the world understands this.
      Actually, all these "technology demonstrators" are just needed in order to determine the question "what is needed" in polygon conditions
      1. Leomobil
        Leomobil April 25 2020 19: 00 New
        -1
        What are you talking about at the Mir account? In design bureaus, where everything is good for 10 years ahead of finance, where selection is based on loyalty, where the process is more important than the result ...! Where titles are given out to themselves and all the information is poured to the west ... This is exactly about this "MIR" you are talking about ...
        Do not want to know! This is perhaps closer to the truth! And this is not a demonstration of technology, but a miserable copy, a demonstration of secondaryity, and the outback.
  4. APASUS
    APASUS April 23 2020 17: 26 New
    -1
    As I understand it, all these platforms have only one serious drawback. How could we not maintain a serious secure communication channel, with such robots, we still cannot?
    1. Tavrik
      Tavrik April 23 2020 17: 43 New
      0
      Well, in general, yes. Judging by the pictures, this device will leave a maximum of a kilometer from its control point and then in a clean, flat field.
    2. bars1
      bars1 April 23 2020 18: 04 New
      +1
      For this, they are developing AI in order not to depend on constant control. Without AI, all unmanned combat platforms (land, flying, floating) are just toys. Allowing AI drones to independently make decisions on hitting a target is inevitable, no matter what different humanists say. And woe to that country that will come to such a decision last
    3. abc_alex
      abc_alex April 23 2020 21: 39 New
      0
      At what distances?
      You see, I don’t know how anyone, but I don’t see real use of robots on the battlefield. It is robots, that is, autonomous complexes. In the sky, yes. At sea, maybe. But in the field - no. How can a robot distinguish its own from someone else's? No way. And if a person controls it remotely, how will this person receive information about the battlefield? Or will such a "robot" have a tank crew? Then isn't it better to make an unmanned tank based on existing platforms?
      For such "kids", I personally see only one application - a platform for heavy weapons of an infantry squad. To compensate for the absence of an infantry fighting vehicle or an armored personnel carrier with heavy weapons. Therefore, they must advance alongside people and fire under the control of an "authorized" soldier. The degree of autonomy is sufficient to independently occupy the specified point, while bypassing pits and potholes. And fire on target designation of the same soldier, equipped with either a laser designator, or some more complex targeting system.

      Well, for such distances, in the zone of visibility, there are protected communication channels a long time ago. On the same guided missiles.
  5. Tavrik
    Tavrik April 23 2020 17: 36 New
    -1
    Moreover, as noted by V. Davydov, telecontrol is a passed stage

    He pushed it powerfully! You can not read further.
  6. Engineer
    Engineer April 24 2020 20: 04 New
    -2
    The creators of Fedor do not sit still. It's a pity. The previous piece finally fell out of the media space, but these scammers apparently have a good lobbyist