January 21, 2022

Russia’s Marker Robot is a Testbed For Its Next-Gen Military Tech

Source: Popular Science

Journalist: Kelsey D. Atherton

This month, Russia announced that it had completed research on its experimental Marker robot combat vehicle. The machine, designed from the start as a testbed for future tools and technologies, was never designed for combat, but machines based on its features will be. In a Russian military modernizing and mobilizing for war, the Marker program was a bet placed on the future of Russian robotics, one in which the biggest dividends will be realized years from now.

Marker is an uncrewed ground vehicle (UGV), similar in form if not armament to a tank. And like a tank, it has a tracked platform, onto which a range of sensors and weapons can be added. These include a turret with machine guns and anti-tank missiles, as well as a case that can launch drones.


The Marker, from the start, has been a tool to test and explore military operations in the safety of controlled field exercises. It’s a way to scope out what might be possible if everything aligns the right way on a future battlefield.

“This is Russia’s most visible R&D project involving ground autonomy, swarm development, [ground robot and drone] teaming, and manned-unmanned teaming. Marker is also a test bed for military AI solutions such as machine vision, image recognition and natural language processing,” says Samuel Bendett, an analyst at the Center for Naval Analysis and adjunct senior fellow at the Center for New American Security.

Read the full story and more from Popular Science.


  • Samuel Bendett

    Adjunct Senior Fellow, Technology and National Security Program

    Samuel Bendett is an Adviser with CNA Strategy, Policy, Plans and Programs Center (SP3), where he is a member of the Russia Studies Program. His work involves research on the ...