A Florida-based Air Force squadron has become the first military unit to deploy robot dogs as security.
The 325th Security Forces Squadron operating out of Tyndall Air Force Base near Panama City has enlisted the help of Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicles (or Q-UGVs) as a force multiplier for extra security, as Fox 5 New York notes.
“We are very excited. We are the first unit within the Department of Defense to use this technology for enhanced security patrolling operations,” said Maj. Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander, in an earlier story posted to the base's website.
The computerized canines, designed not by Boston Dynamics but Philadelphia's Ghost Robotics, can conquer difficult terrain in extreme climates.
Capable of withstanding temperatures ranging from 40 below zero to 131 degrees, the Q-UGVs measure their surroundings with 14 sensors to create awareness in all directions. Various functions are tailored to different scenarios, such as a "crouch" mode that lowers the bot's center of gravity and a self-explanatory "high-step" mode.
“As a mobile sensor platform, the Q-UGVs will significantly increase situational awareness for defenders,” said Mark Shackley, Tyndall Program Management Office security forces program manager.
“They can patrol the remote areas of a base while defenders can continue to patrol and monitor other critical areas of an installation.”
As for real labs, retrievers and shepherd status, the Q-UGVs won't replace their living counterparts, but simply aid in patrolling operations, allowing the base's defenders to focus on actions that require a physical presence.