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Robot Dogs to Patrol Tyndall Air Force Base Soon

The computerized canines will aid in reconnaissance and enhanced security patrolling operations across the Florida base.

Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, will be one of the first in America to have semi-autonomous robot dogs patrolling its 38 square kilometer compound.

The base and the 325th Security Forces Squadron have been working with Ghost Robotics, a Philadelphia based firm, to develop a system to enhance security and safety for the base residents ever since Hurricane Michael wreaked havoc last year.

Although the four-legged robots resemble a dog, they are not intended to replace the military canines. Rather, they are to aid the patrolling operations, the air force base said in a statement.

“These robot dogs will be used as a force multiplier for enhanced situational awareness by patrolling areas that aren’t desirable for human beings and vehicles,” said Major Jordan Criss, 325th Security Forces Squadron commander.

The robots are outfitted with sensors and cameras and will have a set patrol path which will be monitored by designated personnel, said the statement.

Roaming Freely

However, Ghost Robotics CEO Jiren Parikh told WTVYNews that the bot canines can be installed with a variety of applications and can roam by themselves also.

“They’ll be fitted with different sensors, cameras, thermal sensors to look at night, infrared. They can also be fitted with gas sensors,” he said.

Additionally, controllers of the robot can pass on verbal messages to a person near the automaton through a radio attached to it.

US Air Force Col. Gregory Beaulieu, 325th Mission Support Group commander, drives an unmanned ground vehicle on Tyndall Air Force Base, Florida, Nov. 10, 2020.
Once the robotic UGV are programmed with a path to follow, they will patrol semi-autonomously, only controlled when needed by a virtual reality headset. Photo: Airman 1st Class Tiffany Price/US Air Force

The mechanical canines are expected to reduce the workload of the security personnel assigned to patrolling tasks so that they can focus on training, security, and overall situational awareness across the base.

“These dogs will be an extra set of eyes and ears while computing large amounts of data at strategic locations throughout Tyndall Air Force Base,” commander Criss said.

“They will be a huge enhancement for our defenders and allow flexibility in the posting and response of our personnel.”

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