As of 2015, battle robots are mostly used for sporting events, competitions and some military applications, such as bombing targets, detecting bombs or setting off mines. In the civilian realm, military battle robots are sometimes used by law enforcement to dispose of explosives.
Battle robots are machines that can operate remotely from human operators and are designed to damage targets. They are not necessarily anthropomorphic or contain any artificial intelligence. For example, many battle robots used in combat sports are box-shaped and are remotely controlled by a robotics team.
Battle robots are almost entirely restricted in the civilian realm to competitions where robots are pitted against each other in fighting matches. These robots are used to provide entertainment and test engineering concepts. Some military robots designed for combat use have been adapted for use by civilian bomb squads.
Battle robots owned and operated by the military are often used to protect soldiers on the ground. For example, the U.S. developed TALON robot, first deployed in 2001 in Bosnia, is now in the armory of several nation's militaries. The TALON is mostly used to protect soldiers during combat operations by disposing of bombs and detecting hazardous materials.
Battle robots for combat operations have also seen recent military use against human targets. TALON units can be retrofitted with weapons to perform patrol duties and snipe enemy combatants. Unmanned drones operated by the U.S. military often perform strikes on combatants in the Middle East. On May 15, 2015, the Russian government disclosed that it had successfully tested robots that can fire weapons and operate as combat units.