Support The Moscow Times!

Voice-Command Robots Do Push-ups, Headstands for Putin


Update: The Znak news website reported Thursday that the robots presented to President Putin appeared to be identical to models built by South Korea's Robotis Biolid company and sold on eBay and Amazon for around $1000. Russian state media reported the robots were Russian-built.

President Vladimir Putin got to witness one of Russia’s newest technological innovations during his visit to St. Petersburg on Tuesday: athletic robots.

Putin’s busy schedule took him to a shipyard where he unveiled the world’s longest nuclear submarine capable of carrying thermonuclear underwater drones; to a geographical society where he examined plans to create a massive park zone; and to the Suvorov Military Academy. The cadets showed off their campus to Putin, which included an exhibition chess game and other extracurricular activities.

Footage from the academy showed cadets instructing two voice-command robots to do push-ups and headstands.

The pair of androids performed three push-ups as directed.

However, one of them appeared to malfunction when it stalled and fell after the cadet told it to do a headstand.

“It’s not the software’s fault, but the robots,” an unnamed IT instructor said of the mishap to St. Petersburg’s news website. “The command came too late.”

Read more

Independent journalism isn’t dead. You can help keep it alive.

As the only remaining independent, English-language news source reporting from Russia, The Moscow Times plays a critical role in connecting Russia to the world.

Editorial decisions are made entirely by journalists in our newsroom, who adhere to the highest ethical standards. We fearlessly cover issues that are often considered off-limits or taboo in Russia, from domestic violence and LGBT issues to the climate crisis and a secretive nuclear blast that exposed unknowing doctors to radiation.

Please consider making a one-time donation — or better still a recurring donation — to The Moscow Times to help us continue producing vital, high-quality journalism about the world's largest country.