Ukrainian Volunteers Crowdfund Tiny Robot Tank

The People's First Tank will be unpeopled

First People's Tank Prototype
First People's Tank Prototype
People's Project

Sponsors can now fund remote-controlled weapons for war in remotely controlled lands. Ukraine is embroiled in a civil war against Russian-backed separatists, and some volunteers on the pro-Ukrainian side have set up a crowdfunding page for people to fund a tiny robot tank. Dubbed "The People's Project," the initiative is currently 73 percent of the way toward raising the $8,000 needed to complete the machine.

The stated goals for the "First People's Tank" range from "destruction of enemy manpower, engineering structures, and armored vehicles" to clearing minefields. The basic vehicle will be a small remote-controlled body with treads and cameras, about half the height of a person and longer than it is tall. The system made for this tank can also be used to operate a fixed remote-controlled weapon turret. The project makers also want to program the vehicle to identify objects and targets, but that's a challenge even for fully funded American defense research projects.

The First People's Tank joins a long line of improvised weapons made for civil wars. This is what the prototype looks like in action, without any special attached weapons or sensors: