When you hear the name Kalashnikov, one thing springs instantly to mind: the most widespread and reliable killing machine known to man, the AK-47 assault rifle.
The name Kalashnikov should, and does, strike fear into those who hear it. This is a company that knows a lot about wreaking vengeance on one’s foes on a global scale. Do not mock Kalashnikov.
But then they went and made this.
The newest robot from Kalashnikov, known as ‘Igorek’ (’little Igor’) was revealed to the public in Moscow on Monday at the ARMY Forum, the “world’s leading exhibition of arms and military equipment, the authoritative platform for discussing innovative ideas and developments for the armed forces”.
It’s 13 feet tall, weighs 4.5 tonnes and is designed for “carrying out engineering and combat tasks”. Igorek is a manned robot, so some lucky operative gets to sit up in the top deck although currently, it is immobile, which is a bit of an issue for a robot.
Instantly, people started to mock the poor fellow, comparing it to the infamous ED-209 robot in the classic 1987 science-fiction film Robocop, which, if you remember, was neither very good at stairs:
Or just generally not shooting the wrong people:
“Someone please give Kalashnikov a link to Boston Dynamics”, wrote one Facebook user, unfavourably comparing it to the famous company which has created terrifyingly nimble and smart robots over the past few years. Like this one for example…
The Kalashnikov attempt isn’t quite as streamlined yet, but the idea of future models that do walk, run and shoot is quite a terrifying one.
Not that it’s stopped the jokes, one Twitter user reacted by posted a photo of ED-209 meeting Igorek, asking “What are you?” in Russian.
Here’s a clip of Igorek ‘in action’:
Kalashnikov has said it hopes to display an improved version of the robot at the ARMY Forum in 2020, but honestly, there’s no need for improvement is there? As long as no one invents Robocop it’ll be the biggest guy in town.
When they do, though (and they will), there might be a slight issue.
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(Images: Kalashnikov/Orion Pictures)