Segways used for sniper target practice

Marathon Robotics has developed a robotic training system for the Australian special forces. Targets are mounted on Segway Robotic Mobility Platform (RMP) vehicles which are controlled by a central computer system. They can, for example, be programmed to scatter when a shot is fired, just like you would expect from human, making it much harder for the sniper to take out the next “terrorist”.

A Segway running away for his/her life
Central control system

Personally I think this is the best possible use of these damned devices. Nothing would give me more pleasure that shooting a Segway in the ass!

[ Hat Tip: Engadget. Many thanks to Paul and Rob for emailing me the links. ]

Steve Johnson

Founder and Dictator-In-Chief of TFB. A passionate gun owner, a shooting enthusiast and totally tacti-uncool. Favorite first date location: any gun range. Steve can be contacted here.


  • Dano

    Pretty cool system, hate to be the one to shoot below the robots waist though!

  • drewogatory

    Oh man, now I’m going to have to spend the day building an airgun scale version of this in the backyard with RC cars and 1/33 scale figures..

  • Roy Rapoport

    Dano, thought that as well, though they did mention the robots were armored. I’m guessing you could do some damage to some trivial components (e.g. the wifi antennas), but the rest should be relatively well-protected (at least from lower-power rounds — .308 shouldn’t be a problem; 50cal, I suspect, would happily go through both sides of whatever they’ve got)


  • Rusty Ray

    And I love the idea of shooting hoodies! Love it.

  • GeoffH

    Very cool. A couple of things the robots don’t do. They don’t duck, so if they are near an open window they are still a clear target. They can’t go up stairs, though I suppose they could use an elevator.

    Dano, I thought the same thing about hitting the working part of the robot with a shot. That would be pretty expensive to repair!

  • Makes me think of the demonstrator shooting gallery shown in Caprica.

  • Vak

    I’m going to say exactly what everyone has been thinking :

    now we can play zombie apocalypse. Just make so the robot won’t stop unless the head is hit and voilà ! Most expensive variant of IPSC/IDPA ever !

  • Sean

    That would make a great adult theme park attraction.

  • CY

    Be more fun with an M-203 launching grenades at the darn things.

  • John

    The thing that weirds me out about that clip is that all of the targets are dressed up as civilians! Other than that though, this looks like a fantastic training tool.

  • Sami

    Zak, I love the idea of “zombie apocalypse” theme park!

    Only few more hours to lottery… 😉

  • zack

    Neat program but you can do the same thing with real people and sim rounds and no where near the cost. I am not sold on the idea.

  • Zach

    John, most terrorists are dressed “as civilians” too, aren’t they? The hoodies are convenient too becasue they can use different colors to represent terrorists/hostages/etc.

  • Martin

    I agree that it’s creepy that they are all faceless and dressed the same. Kinda like the cops in THX-1138.

    I suppose they could use ramps in lieu of stairs, but that would expose the segway’s to a higher likelihood of being hit, AND fired rounds leaving the range because of elevated shooting.

    Now they just need to arm them with airsoft/paintball guns.

  • Vak I too am waiting for the zombie apocalypse. This looks like a great training exercise, I want to play.

  • Alan

    Ok, so I need a small army of sturdy RC cars, an Airsoft arsenal, a Hogans Alley, and some of those Mozambique drill cardboard targets that drop when you pop a balloon at the head or chest. Rig the RC cars with the targets, a speakers set to play zombie moans, and some basic homing software set to a beacon the player wears to simulate being Scented.
    Heh it’d be Left 4 Dead LARP. And I bet people would pay $$$ for it…..

  • i’m preparing my fleet of roomba vacuums as the poor mans version of this.


  • Bill W.

    Best use I’ve seen of a Segway yet. Kudos!

    I love this blog; if you get the chance, check out my site. The link’s in the signature.

    Bill Wayne