Hill Air Force Base demonstration shows innovative capabilities of robotic dog

Airmen from 75th Security Forces Squadron were given a demonstration of a Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle, also known as a robot dog, Aug. 24, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base. Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force

HILL AIR FORCE BASE, Utah, Aug. 25, 2021 (Gephardt Daily) — The 75th Security Forces Squadron at Hill invited Ghost Robotics to the base Wednesday to demonstrate the capabilities of its semi-autonomous robotic dog and 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 Vehicle, is to add an extra level of protection to the base, said a news release from Hill Air Force Base.

“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,” the news release said. “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.”

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.

Military working dog Jimo and handler Senior Airman Alex MacMillan, 75th Security Forces, pose next to a Quad-legged Unmanned Ground Vehicle, also known as a robot dog, Aug. 24, 2021, at Hill Air Force Base. Photo Courtesy: U.S. Air Force

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