Roving Robots Train Marines at Camp Pendleton

Roving, wig-wearing robots are the latest state-of-the-art technology on Camp Pendleton helping to prepare U.S. Marines for the battlefield.

The standup robot on two wheels costs approximately $250,000 but, as seen in a demonstration by the Australian company Marathon Targets, they are much different from the traditional firearms training.

It’s a test that one U.S. Marine said is as close to real live combat at you get while firing a weapon.

“It's a lot harder to hit him and it's a lot more realistic as real as you can get in training I think,” said Cpl. Aleksandr Bulymba.

The robots allow Marines to enhance skills during training to including threat assessment, handling a weapon under duress and tactical patience.

Unlike the traditional rail system that move left and right on the same rail, these targets are unpredictable.

“Just like a human, so it will go at different speeds, slow down speed up, it might swerve, it won't just going to straight-line,” said robotics engineer Nathan Fung.

The Autonomous Robotic targets do not require remote operation or a joystick to operate. The on-board software allows the robot to react the way that combatants might behave using sensors.

As for stamina, Fung said these robots can sustain thousands of shots.

NBC 7 reached out to Camp Pendlton to find out how much of an investment they're making in these new targets and are waiting for the information.

In the meantime some published reports estimate the Corps is investing more than $50 million in the technology.

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