Marines at North Carolina’s Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune are improving their lethality using robots for shooting practice.

The fifth-generation robots, manufactured by Australia-based Marathon Targets, are realistic moving targets that feature a mannequin-like body traveling on a four-wheeled Segway-like chassis.

Capable of immediately scattering when gunfire erupts, the robots are outfitted with lidar for navigation and collision avoidance. Additionally, the robots feature speakers that emit shrieking and grunting sound effects when the robots have been hit by gunfire on the range. Once the robot is hit, it can fold and fall over, mimicking wounded humans.

According to previous studies of the technology, the robots improved soldier combat accuracy and moving target hit rates dramatically, with the technology's developers explaining that this training better mimics conditions on the battlefield than those encountered on a standard shooting range.

To see the target-practice robots, which are designed for both soldiers and law enforcement training applications, watch the accompanying video that appears courtesy of Marathon Technologies.

To contact the author of this article, email mdonlon@globalspec.com