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Robotic Dog's Innovative Capabilities
by U.S. Air Force Kendahl Johnson
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
August 31, 2021

The 75th Security Forces Squadron at Hill invited Ghost Robotics to the base on August 24, 2021 to demonstrate the capabilities of its semi-autonomous robotic dog and prove its worth as an enhancement to base security.

 The purpose of having a robotic dog, or what’s officially known as a Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicles, is to add an extra level of protection to the base.

Military working dog Jimo looks curiously at a Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle, also known as a robot dog, while sitting obediently by handler Senior Airman Alex MacMillan with the 75th Security Forces at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on August 24, 2021. The purpose of the Q-UGV isn’t to replace MWDs, but to enhance security by increasing security forces’ ability to patrol and monitor the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)
Military working dog Jimo looks curiously at a Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle, also known as a robot dog, while sitting obediently by handler Senior Airman Alex MacMillan with the 75th Security Forces at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on August 24, 2021. The purpose of the Q-UGV isn’t to replace MWDs, but to enhance security by increasing security forces’ ability to patrol and monitor the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

“We feel a robot dog will significantly increase base security in a number of ways,” said Master Sgt. John Twomey, security forces logistics and readiness superintendent. “There are areas at Hill where rugged terrain and harsh weather make it difficult for our Airmen to patrol. These dogs can get through any type of terrain and get to remote areas that we have trouble getting out to.”

Twomey said the robot dogs have many other capabilities beyond perimeter sweeps, and he wanted Hill’s leadership to see it first-hand and that is why he invited Ghost Robotics to the base to present a demonstration. One robotic dog would cost approximately $130,000.

Features applied to the robot dogs allow for easy navigation on difficult terrains. They are equipped with a crouch mode that lowers their center-of-gravity and a high-step mode that alters leg mobility, among other features.

Airmen with 75th Security Forces watch a demonstration of the Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle's capabilities at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on August 24, 2021. The purpose of the Q-UGV, also known as a robot dog, is to enhance security by increasing security forces’ ability to patrol and monitor the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)
Airmen with 75th Security Forces watch a demonstration of the Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle's capabilities at Hill Air Force Base, Utah on August 24, 2021. The purpose of the Q-UGV, also known as a robot dog, is to enhance security by increasing security forces’ ability to patrol and monitor the installation. (U.S. Air Force photo by Cynthia Griggs)

The robot dogs can operate in minus 40-degree to 131-degree conditions and have 14 sensors to create 360-degree awareness. They are also integrated with command and control software, with semi-autonomous and user-operated modes.

They are equipped with advanced multi-directional, thermal, and infrared video capabilities, allowing for artificial intelligence-based threat detection.

“This technology has the capability to revolutionize the way base security operates,” Twomey said

Several bases throughout the Air Force are already using or testing robotic dogs, including Hanscom AFB, Massachusetts, and Tyndall AFB, Florida.

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