The US Air Force has successfully adopted four-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicles (UGVs) to enhance the security of its bases. Known informally as “robot dogs”, the newly deployed devices arrived at Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida on March 22, so they could be integrated with the onsite security forces.
Increasing base security
The robot dogs were created by a collaboration between automaton experts Ghost Robotics and AR and VR provider Immersive Wisdom and have been designed to add an extra layer of security to the US Air Force installation.
The robots are the first devices of their kind to be fully integrated within a military site and among a multitude of innovation-driven plans that will be rolled out at Tyndall, commonly called the “installation of the future.”
Tyndall’s manager for the security forces programme, Mark Shackley, stated that the new robot dogs are mobile platforms equipped with sensors that can significantly raise the awareness of base defenders to potential threats.
He added that the semi-autonomous devices were able to patrol the more remote parts of the base, leaving its defenders to monitor and patrol more critical sectors of the installation.
The robot dogs have been specifically designed to fulfil their new duties onsite. Designed for all weather conditions, they can patrol in temperatures ranging from 131 degrees down to minus 40 degrees and are equipped with 14 powerful sensors that provide those they feedback to with 360 degrees worth of data, offering premium levels of situation awareness.
The semi-autonomous robot dogs can also navigate and manage a wide range of difficult terrain by adapting their forms using different modes. A high-step function enables them to increase their leg mobility while the crouch function effectively lowers their centre of gravity.
Currently experiencing extensive construction work that will continue for many years, the Air Force base at Tyndall has been seen as an ideal location to test out the robot dogs, with the mobile nature of the new security solution enabling onsite security teams to reinforce their protection protocols.