Space force

US Space Force tests robot dogs to patrol Cape Canaveral

Mankind’s new best friend arrives in the US Space Force.

The Space Force conducted a demonstration using dog-like Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Q-UGVs) for security patrols and other repetitive tasks. The demonstration used at least two Vision 60 Q-UGVs, or “robot dogs,” built by Ghost Robotics and took place at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station on July 27-28.

According to a statement (opens in a new tab) from the Department of Defense, Space Launch Delta 45 will use the robot dogs for “damage assessment and patrol to save significant man-hours.” The unit is responsible for all space launch operations from Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral.

Related: US Space Force creates new unit to track ‘threats in orbit’

Demonstration footage shows personnel operating the robots with a remote control inside a hangar. Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Q-UGVs can be equipped with a wide variety of optical and acoustic sensors, allowing them to serve as automated “eyes and ears” around sensitive installations such as a Space Force base. . The robots can be controlled autonomously or by a human controller and can even respond to voice commands.

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Cuccia, Director of Innovation, operates a Ghost Robotics Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV), Vision 60 with a handheld controller at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station

U.S. Air Force 1st Lt. Andrew Cuccia, Director of Innovation, operates a Ghost Robotics Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV), Vision 60 with a handheld controller at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station (Image credit: US Space Force photo by Senior Airman Samuel Becker)

The dog-like robots can also serve as miniaturized communication nodes, carrying antennas to quickly expand networks beyond existing infrastructure or into places where such infrastructure does not exist.

A Ghost Robotics, Vision 60 Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV) is used during a demonstration for the 45th Security Forces Squadron at Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, Fla. July 28, 2022.

A Ghost Robotics, Vision 60 Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV) is used during a demonstration for the 45th Security Forces Squadron at Space Force Station Cape Canaveral, Fla. July 28, 2022. (Image credit: US Space Force photo by Senior Airman Samuel Becker)

The robots have already been tested by the US Air Force for perimeter defense tasks and as part of an extensive test of the service’s Advanced Battle Management System (ABMS) data-sharing network. In this 2020 test, robot dogs from Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada “provided real-time strike targeting data to USAF operators” in Florida using Starlink satellite links, Jiren Parikh said. , then CEO of Ghost Robotics, at The War Zone. (opens in a new tab).

Ghost Robotics’ Q-UGVs are designed to be water and weather resistant, and were recently demonstrated with a tail-like payload allowing them to travel underwater (opens in a new tab).

Besides their military applications, robot dogs are also sought after for uses in emergency management, public safety, and industrial inspection.

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