A new robot created by Russia's answer to DARPA, the Foundation for Advanced Research Projects, was recently shown off to reporters. And to Russian president Putin.
(Russia's new robot)
"Its intended purpose is to work in extremely dangerous conditions,” [Andrei Grigoryev] said, adding that a human would control the robot remotely from a safe location...
The robot is being developed under a battlebot programme funded as part of a decade-long arms buildup, which will be taking place until 2020. The programme is costing 20 trillion rubles (£225bn), and is also being used to fund the creation of exoskeleton suits for soldiers that will give them "superhuman" powers.
American roboticists have their favorite science fiction; what did todays Russian robot makers watch when they were growing up?
It might have been The Adventures of Elektronik (Приключения Электроника); start at about 17'00" to see the switch and a demonstration of the robot's powers):
(The Adventures of Elektronik [Приключения Электроника])
A robot named Elektronic escapes from Professor Gromov's laboratory. The robot looks exactly like Sergey (Serezha) Syroezhkin, the boy from the magazine cover, which was chosen by Gromov as a model to construct Elektronic.
By coincidence, the double meets its prototype. 6-grader Serezha cunningly suggests that Elektronik should impersonate him - go to school instead of him and even live in his home. His plan works, as no one can tell the difference between them. Serezha's teachers delight in a very gifted pupil, who suddenly shows unbelievable talents in math, gymnastics, drawing and even singing. Sergey's parents do not suspect his trick and are glad of their pseudo-son's progress.