The U.S. Navy has unveiled new plans to employ robots to train marine forces in the future. The Office of Naval Research (ONR) on Tuesday launched a new experiment that it hopes will help create robots and other human surrogates for military training purposes.

As part of the study, being carried out at the University of Central Florida, the researchers have placed a human surrogate, which will greet and interact with people passing through the lobby of the university’s Institute for Simulation and Training. The study with the robot, which will be controlled by a human operator in another location, will continue for several weeks.

“Marine Corps training concepts continue to merge virtual and live components to create the most realistic, effective and affordable training for Marines,” Peter Squire, a program officer for ONR, said in a statement. “The way people react to and interact with the different surrogates in this study is crucial to understanding how we can improve our military training systems.”

According to the Navy, the study’s results will be used by researchers to demonstrate the use of surrogates in more complex situations that will require a greater amount of human-machine interaction.

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