Border patrol testing robot dogs — Analysis

Mechanical mutts are being trialed as ‘drive multipliers’ alongside the US-Mexican border

The US Division of Homeland Safety has provided a pack of robotic canine – formally named ‘Automated Floor Surveillance Automobiles’ – to Customs and Border Patrol to be used in monitoring the huge border with Mexico. 

This system intends to “leverage expertise to force-multiply” the company’s presence alongside the border and “cut back human publicity to life-threatening hazards,” in keeping with a press launch posted on Tuesday, which praised the four-legged bots’ efficiency on harsh terrain.

The southern border could be an inhospitable place for man and beast, and that’s precisely why a machine might excel there,” DHS Science and Expertise program supervisor Brenda Lengthy defined within the assertion.

In 2020, the US navy additionally labored with the canine’ producer, Ghost Robotics, to patrol navy bases, whereas the corporate itself has collaborated with gun producer SWORD Worldwide to create an armed model of its canine, able to taking down targets nearly 4,000 toes away.

The unarmed fashions have already been examined on “sentry responsibility,” by which they’re unleashed autonomously to patrol a pre-set perimeter whereas armed with cameras and different sensor gadgets. The check runs have included inspecting railroad vehicles and carriages in addition to looking out residential buildings, and embrace “a state of affairs that simulated being met by probably hostile people.” 

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The four-legged robotic sentries could be geared up with any form of digicam (thermal, night-vision and so on.) or sensors, together with chemical, organic, radiological, and nuclear. They are often managed through radio, wi-fi, GPS, or “different means,” in keeping with the press launch, leaving open the troubling chance of distant hijacking by hackers.

The DHS press launch appeared designed to defuse any worry related to the robotic canine, repeatedly referring to the 100-pound machines as man’s or officer’s “finest good friend” and utilizing veterinary phrases to explain their anatomy (“paws” as a substitute of treads, and so on). 

Nonetheless, the system’s producers felt no want to hide their enthusiasm at its capabilities, boasting that the “rugged, quadruped robotic” can traverse “all sorts of pure terrain together with sand, rocks and hills, in addition to human-built environments, like stairs.

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