In a bid to create independent artificial intelligence that could put to shame the antics of Skynet from the ‘Terminator’ franchise, a Russian company has successfully created and tested a software that is able to make decisions and carry them out without requiring human intervention.
OPK (The United Instrument Manufacturing Corporation), which is a key clog in the machinery of Rostec arms corporation, claims that it has successfully tested the Unicum (Latin for the only one) software package which gives military and civilian robots sufficient artificial intelligence to perform tasks (including complicated ones) to complete on their own.
The Unicum artificial intelligence platform powers a group of up to 10 robotic complexes and assigns roles among the robots, chooses the leader of a robotic task force and assigns combat mission or briefing to each individual machine. The AI platform then enables these robots to locate its own targets, choose dominating positions on a battlefield while making sure that a target elimination validation request is given by human operators before eliminating the targets. Moreover, it is also capable to automatically requesting replacements for disabled machines.
OPK Deputy Director, Sergey Skokov claims that the system has already been passed on to a client and revealed that more work is currently being done inside the facilities.
Robots tested and set for further tests
This is the first [AI] system of that quality that has successfully completed the tests and has been passed on to the client. The technology is being readied for installation on real life robotic systems, both civilian and in the military, including unmanned aerial vehicles,” OPK Deputy Director Sergey Skokov said.
“The software system has passed all the [governmental] commissions,” Skokov stressed.
Moreover, the software is unique in a sense that it can be integrated with any robotic system regardless of whether it is on the ground, in the air or out at sea. This means that there will be no compatibility issues to worry about. The AI also has the ability to act on its own or in groups.
The developers claim that the recently produced system is so good that it does not even need human assistance at all.
“With Unicum, the robots will be capable of executing tasks independently, to see and evaluate the situation, plotting new courses as well as communicating with other machines. In fact, this is yet another step to the creation of fully-fledged artificial intelligence, enabling mechanisms with nearly human capabilities,” Skokov said.
Russians working on more robots
The recent news of Russian ability to put robots on the battlefield does not come out as a shocking revelation considering the fact that the government has been backing such R&D projects for quite some time.
Only recently, director general of the Advanced Research Foundation (ARF), Andrey Grigoryev claimed that a humanoid fighting robot will learn how to run in a matter of months. The same company claims that development of a brain-computer interface technology for the “solider of the future” is already underway.
“A combat robot-android, that resembles a human in appearance, by the end of the year will be able to run, cross a barrier line and perform other actions, according to our plans,” Andrey Grigoryev, director-general of the Advanced Research Foundation (ARF), told RIA-Novosti
The android robot is promised to be operating in the most dangerous conditions but will have to be remotely controlled and will be executing its missions without carrying a rifle.
Back in January, Russian President, Vladimir Putin saw the robot in action and was impressed with what he saw and claimed that it resembled a “scene from a Sci-Fi film”.
However, that’s not it. Apart from the Armata drone tank project, the Russians are also working on a crawling traction robotic system, set to be tested by the end of this year. This system will be capable of being used in environments where humans cannot execute a mission such as a nuclear fallout area, mine sweeping or extreme polar night Arctic conditions.
Named the URP-01G, this platform weighs up to seven tons and can carry up to two tons of hardware while travelling at speeds of up to 40 km/h. The system is being developed by Systemprom Concern which is a key component of the Untied Instrument Manufacturing Corporation.