What Is So Special About ‘THeMIS’ Robotic Vehicle That Russia Wants It by Any Means Necessary

For Russia, getting the best technology from abroad is more critical than ever – and it is now offering bounties to anyone who captures the new vehicle deployed in Ukraine: The THeMIS
HeMIS 5th generation UGV

In a move that could signal a new stage of the conflict, a Russian think tank announced a $16,000 bounty for the capture of a robotic vehicle deployed by the Ukrainian military.

It is the groundbreaking THeMIS unmanned ground vehicle (UGV), which has already been seen in the hands of Ukrainian troops, and Russia wants to copy its technology to launch its own UGV.

UGVs are more valuable than ever in warfare

In the past, wars were fought using primarily ground troops. However, with the advent of drones and unmanned vehicles, that is starting to change – and UGVs are becoming increasingly important. 


They can go to places that most troops can’t. They travel through dangerous terrain without putting soldiers at risk. UGVs can be equipped with advanced sensors and cameras to gather intelligence about the enemy’s movements and position. 

And, of course, UGVs usually feature the latest state-of-the-art weapons, making them a valuable asset in combat situations. 

In recent weeks, Ukrainian forces have used robotic vehicles to support its troops in Eastern Ukraine – and the Milrem Robotics THeMIS has been at the forefront of these weapons.


The cutting-edge Milrem Robotics THeMIS

Milrem Robotics is a leading manufacturer of military-grade robots. The company’s products are known for their quality and durability, and its customer service is highly rated. 

Its latest UGV is the THeMIS robot, a versatile and rugged vehicle designed for a variety of military applications. The all-terrain vehicle can be equipped with numerous payloads, including surveillance cameras, chemical sensors, and remote-controlled weapons.

In addition, the THeMIS is capable of carrying out complex missions using its artificial intelligence system, which allows it to make decisions and accomplish tasks without human intervention.


Currently, the THeMIS is Milrem Robotics’ flagship, and it has been a valuable asset for casualty evacuation (CASEVAC) and transportation of supplies.

But, the most outstanding feature of this vehicle is that it features a variety of sensors and cameras, which provide situational awareness and allow operators to deploy it in dangerous environments. 

It is based on the Milrem Robotics Type-X, which is also a versatile and powerful UGV with a 50mm autocannon and a 7.62mm machine gun.


TypeX RCV by Milremrobotics. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

However, the THeMIS has more advanced weapons. It features a 40 mm automatic grenade launcher (AGL), 30mm autocannon, anti-tank guided missile (ATGM), and loitering munition launcher, among other weapons.

…and Russia wants to reverse engineer its tech

The Russian Centre for Analysis of Strategies and Technologies (CAST) announced a $16,428 reward for the capture of a THeMIS UGV in good conditions. 

While this amount is not huge, it’s more than the average Russian soldier would earn in a year. So, capturing one of these vehicles with as little damage as possible may be attractive to troops deployed in eastern Ukraine.


It has a high value for Russia because it could allow Russian engineers to build their own version of this UGV. If reverse engineered, it would be used jointly with Russian UGVs like the Uran-9.

Боевой многофункциональный робототехнический комплекс Уран-9
Боевой многофункциональный робототехнический комплекс Уран-9 by Vitaly V. Kuzmin. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

The Uran-9 is a remote-controlled robot that can be equipped with a variety of weapons, including a machine gun, a grenade launcher, and anti-tank missiles.


Milrem Robotics UGV Themis size comparison
Milrem Robotics UGV Themis size comparison by Milrem Robotics. Licensed under CC by 4.0.

  • Type: Unmanned ground vehicle
  • Country of origin: Estonia
  • Manufacturer: Milrem Robotics
  • Produced: Since 2015
  • Mass: 1,630 kilograms (3,590 pounds)
  • Length: 2,40 meters (94 inches)
  • Width: 2 meters (79 inches)
  • Height: 1,15 meters (45 inches)
  • Payload capacity: 1,200 kilograms (2,600 pounds)
  • Operational range: 1,5 kilometers (0,93 miles)
  • Maximum speed: 20 km/h (12 mph)

Russia desperately seeks new technologies for its troops

Since Ukraine deployed the THeMIS, Russia has been looking to catch one to study its technology in-depth and develop new technologies that will allow it to engage Ukraine and its allies more effectively.


However, capturing one of these vehicles doesn’t seem to be an easy task, especially if it is armed. Capturing a UGV like this one in excellent conditions won’t be easy because it’s heavily guarded – and it has missile launchers, grenade launchers, and machine guns to defend itself.

Featured image credit: THeMIS 5th generation UGV by Milrem Robotics. Licensed under CC by 4.0.