If you’re shooting at someone, it is highly likely that they will try to avoid getting hit. Ergo, for people who sometimes shoot at other people as part of their job—like the Marines, for instance—one might expect a certain level of training involving moving targets. Not so fast!
According to a report in the Marine Corps Times, the military’s Semper Fidelis contingent is finally adding moving targets to its list of marksmanship qualifications. Soon, in addition to stationary targets, Marines will also need to know how to successfully gun down a mobile object.
The precise training method is still in development—the request was reportedly made to the Weapons Training Battalion in October, and made public in February—but apparently Marines have been talking about their lack of success with moving targets “for years.”
The actual practical implementation of a training method, however, is a tad more complicated. There are a few shooting ranges right now that serve as testing sites for moving targets, but they’re expensive because of the targets themselves: ROBOTS!
“Robots are great, but is that what we need?” said Colonel Tim Parker, the commander of the Weapons Training Battalion. “I love robots, I really do, but it’s going to have to be something we can buy for the entire Marine Corps.” Do you really love them, Tim, or are you just protecting yourself agains the inevitable robot uprising?
Those robots were recently shipped off to Camp Pendleton where they’re being used as test subjects. The video footage is pretty much exactly what you’d expect: a bunch of weird, unsteady looking robots rolling around in the dirt while dudes in military gear try to knock them on their cold, metal asses.
Somewhere, Elon Musk and Stephen Hawking are pissed.