A new robotic tank called THeMIS could bring the remote-control capabilities of aerial drone warfare down to ground combat.
The robot, which C4ISRNET reports was equipped with a 12.7mm machine gun and a 40mm automatic grenade launcher during a demo in Estonia last month, is reminiscent of those T-1 robotic tanks from “Terminator 3: Rise of the Machines” — a deadly inflection point in automated warfare.
The THeMIS is the first ground-based combat robot that can be controlled from farther away than a direct line of sight — a small crew can direct the tank to fire at targets that its software already spotted and tracked, according to C4ISRNET. The tank can be controlled from 8,200 feet away, or 3,300 feet if there are more obstacles in the area.
“Our joint combat UGV is one of the first armored UGVs in the world that’s especially well-suited for urban conflict areas,” Jüri Pajuste, director of Defence Programs at the company that built THeMIS, an Estonian weapons developer called Milrem Robotics, said in a press release.
The robo-tank can track multiple potential targets at the same time, but can’t yet pull the trigger, C4ISRNET reports.
However, it can notify its human operators of the targets so that they can decide whether or not to tell the robot to fire, all with the push of a button on their tablet.
READ MORE: Armed combat robot operates beyond line of sight [C4ISRNET]
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