It’s more than a year from the kickoff of the 2018 World Cup and it appears Russian soccer fans are already taking shots at their rivals.
Researchers at Moscow Technological Institute (MTI) released video on Friday of a new robot they have developed to help make English fans feel more comfortable and safe during the tournament.
Developers say Alantim was designed to detect human emotions. In the event the robot recognizes aggression towards a British supporter, it will call police for help.
The video begins with violent images of soccer fans and security forces clashing, which suggests a foreshadowing of what could occur during World Cup matches in Russia. Similar incidents plagued the UEFA Euro 2016 tournament in France, including riots between English and Russian fans that left dozens injured.
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Alantim explains in the video how he will protect the Brits in attendance during next summer’s matches.
“I read online that many English football fans doubt whether a trip to Russia is safe. There’s nothing for you to worry about, I will be your defence,” Alantim says in the video.
The robot’s engineers have taken it to several technology conferences and schools in recent months to test out Alantim’s capabilities.
Alantim even conducted live television and radio interviews and helped select contestants for the Miss Russia pageant.
According to the MTI website, Alantim was originally named Promorobot when it was introduced as the deputy head of the department of robotics in 2015.