Robotic Dog's Innovative Capabilities
by U.S. Air Force Kendahl Johnson
75th Air Base Wing Public Affairs
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)
“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)
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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