Maybe he’s not an exact clone of Robocop, but who cares? Skybot F-850 is still mighty impressive even if he’s not a crime-smashing cyborg.
Roscosmos will be launching the robot, which they humanized with the name Fedor (Final Experimental Demonstration Object Research), today on board the Soyuz MS-14 spacecraft. While he may look like something like Robocop (or the Terminator and possibly Optimus Prime), Fedor exists to prove he can act like a remote operator so he can eventually land on the moon before the Russian space agency sends any humans. He’ll be hanging out at the ISS until September 7.
"First, we will send a humanoid robot there, and only after that we will send humans, after we study all the risks and learn to cope with them," Roscosmos director general Dmitry Rogozin told Russian news agency Tass after announcing the trip to the ISS.
What Rogozin wanted to create, as he also told Tass, was “artificial intelligence that will be of great practical significance in various fields." Fedor first came into being when the Russian Emergencies Ministry needed a robotic prototype to carry out rescue operations on Earth. The robot and future models like it will be expected to replace humans in performing risky tasks like the spacewalks required for fixing and adjusting equipment on the exterior of the ISS.
It gets even more sci-fi than that. Rogozin recently tweeted out a video (below) of Fedor performing eerily human tasks, from simply moving his fingers in slow motion to mimicking the motions of a human astronaut to side-eyeing the cameraman.
Some of the tasks he pulls off are as precise as picking up electrical wires with a tweezer. He is even shown virtually navigating a spacecraft in front of a computer screen that makes it seem as if he really is flying a ship above Earth and beyond. The action is set to some really intense Russian pop music.
When he gets on board the ISS, Fedor will be handled by cosmonaut Alexander Skvortsov, who has been trained to work with the robot, and interact with the human Russian crew almost as if he were one of us himself.
“This [launch] will be the first stage of work with anthropomorphic systems, enabling us to proceed further into [space],” Rogozin told Newsweek. Now check our Fedor in action to see just how human he can get.
Translation: “Dedicated to our Fedor and his upcoming flight.”
Fedor’s official Twitter account responded “Thank you, Comrade General.”
You decide if that’s hilarious or creepy.