US Air Force Puts 'Robodogs' to Test for Base Security
Last week, the U.S. Air Force made the second demonstration of the integrated battle network system called Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS). This program is the first priority of the military for the time being with a $3.3 billion budget over 5 years.
The latest ABMS demonstration was among the biggest conducted in recent history with the participation of 65 government organs including the Coast Guard.
Along with testing the latest data-gathering and sharing systems, the Air Force demonstration also included the field testing of the four-legged robot "dogs". The dogs built by Ghost Robotics were tested for the perimeter defense of Nellis Air Force Base.
They were actually intended to be tested on the first demonstration but technical issues with the bandwidth hindered it.
The Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV) model put to test last week is called Vision 60. It's intended for Intelligence, Surveillance, and Recon (ISR) missions along with inspection, mapping, communication distribution, and security purposes.
Not much is disclosed about what exactly was put to test in the Nellis Air Base during ABMS, but we can see robots that differ slightly from the footage Ghost Robotics released before.
Some sport a pair of antennae on their back and one of them had some sensors and/or communication equipment strapped around where its head would be. And since the testing was postponed to a later date due to bandwidth issues, we can assume that the robots are linked to other systems to share, and perhaps, interpret information.
The robot having four legs brings certain advantages beyond all-terrain stability. Compared to other robots with a different number of legs, this robot has more durability, agility, and endurance.
Thanks to its modular design, it's cheaper to manufacture and maintain, what's more, officials report that other partners can build upon the design for context-specific solutions that can be swapped on and off on-the-go within minutes.
Sensors, radios, even different sizes: The sky is the limit for the design changes.
Such designs can soon be deployed to real-world scenarios where soldiers can be rid of mundane or dangerous tasks. It isn't hard to see how it would hold up as a patrolling or scouting device that would undertake tasks that could potentially jeopardize a soldier.
H/T The Drive