Russia is working on a swarm of mini-robots that would look nothing more than a remote-controlled car but perform critical spy missions on enemy grounds.
The bots, which are being developed by a group of scientists and students, will be used by Russia's National Guard to infiltrate enemy bases and send back critical information to a distant controller.
"The robot will be able to enter enemy bases unnoticed by sentries and transmit information back to HQ," Vadim Kozyulin from Academy of Military Sciences told Russia Beyond.
"It will be able to identify enemy firing positions and report on the number of insurgents, while at the same time plant an explosive charge," he added. "It's a sort of mini saboteur [someone engaging in sabotage]."
The undercover robot will be an upgraded version of KRMM-06, a miniaturised six-wheeled vehicle that strolls around 5kmph, weighs nearly 25kg [when fully equipped] and can be carried easily within a backpack, according to the report.
Once developed to their full capability, the motor-powered vehicles would be deployed on the field to perform critical reconnaissance missions. Currently, they can go up to 200m from its operator and further upgrades would make them more mission capable, allowing them to pass through water or climb over objects.
The robots will be equipped with a range of sensors, thermal imagers, cameras, and alarms to match the requirement of every mission and stream back the field events as and when they happen. Plus, they'd also be deploying explosive charges weighing up to 1.5kg if the need arises.
"There are different types of mines. Once planted, some of them cannot be disabled and safely removed from their location. Charges of this type have to be blown up on the spot by less powerful charges," Kozyulin added. As this could be a threat to the personnel, the robots could do the job with their small yet effective charges.
A typical KRMM-06 robot costs around £7,000 but there is no word on the cost of the upgraded machine. Also, it remains unclear when or how many units of the mini-vehicle will be introduced into service.