Russia’s Roscosmos space agency is preparing to send its first humanoid robots to the International Space Station.

Late last month, IBM and Airbus sent CIMON to the ISS. CIMON is an AI robot designed to assist German astronaut Alexander Gerst in conducting his experiments. Now, Russia’s Roscosmos space agency has announced that it will be sending humanoid robots to the space laboratory currently orbiting our planet.

The robots, known as Final Experiment Demonstration Object Research or FEDOR, could potentially be launched in August of next year onboard a Soyuz spacecraft.

For years, space superpowers like the United States have used robot technologies to aide with its space exploration missions. To date, the U.S. has two operational robot rovers on the surface of Mars, gathering information and sending updated images of the red planet continuously. China also has a lunar lander on the moon with more projects in the planning phases.

There is no doubt that robotics has indeed augmented many of today’s space missions and has helped scientists study places no man has ever reached before. Russia definitely knows this and is upping its game to be on par with other nations.

According to reports, the FEDOR robots will fly as crew members even though they will be shuttled into space as cargo. The robots were originally developed to help in rescue operations. However, since its inception, the humanoid robots were already given more abilities to do different human-like actions. They can allegedly perform push-ups, weightlift, power drill, drive, and even fist bump.

Last year, it was reported that the Russian government had taught its FEDOR robots to shoot guns, raising concerns that the country was creating a Terminator-like army. Dmitry Rogozin, Russian Deputy Prime Minister, denied the claims in a public tweet, stating that FEDOR was part of the government’s effort to develop artificial intelligence for “practical significance in various fields.”

Instead of sending intelligent humanoid robots into space, where else do you think this technology could find better applications here on Earth?

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