Bionic arms and blue-eyed bots: How Russia
aims to nurture a tech hub in its Far East

VLADIVOSTOK, Russia — To see Russia’s ambitions for its own version of Silicon Valley, head about 5,600 miles east of Moscow, snake through Vladivostok’s hills and then cross a bridge from the mainland to Russky Island. It’s here — a beachhead on the Pacific Rim — that the Kremlin hopes to create a hub for robotics and artificial intelligence innovation with the goal of boosting Russia’s ability to compete with the United States and Asia.

A new name for the area has already been suggested: “Cyborg Island.”

“We have a dream,” said Artur Biktimirov, a neurosurgeon partnered with high-tech prosthetics developer Motorica, which has some operations on Russky Island and plans to expand its presence. Biktimirov hopes Motorica is the first in a tech boom there.

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