The U.S. Space Force is showing off some new additions to their ranks: dog-like robots that will patrol their rocket bases. These so-called Ghost Robotics Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Q-UGV) have been enlisted at the Cape Canaveral Space Force Station.
With a maximum payload of 10kg, the robo-dogs can carry surveillance equipment — and even a sniper rifle.
“The Q-UGV effectively demonstrated how manual and repetitive tasks can be automated using ground-based robots,” the agency explains in a statement. “The Q-UGV will be used for damage assessments and patrol to save significant man hours.”
The four-legged Vision 60 model is made by Philadelphia-based Ghost Robotics, who describe the robotic dog as “a mid-sized high-endurance, agile and durable all-weather ground drone for use in a broad range of unstructured urban and natural environments for defense, homeland and enterprise applications.”
Patrolling at a speed of three meters per second, the 51kg units can cover 10km on a single charge.
“Our Q-UGVs are architected to allow rapid adaptation to new environments using our proprietary blind-mode control core that mimics how mammals operate across a range of urban and natural environments,” Ghost Robotics writes. “Even if the environment is completely unknown, vision sensors degrade or fail, you can be assured that when our legged robot does fail, slip or fall, it will get right back up and continue moving.
“Our goal is to make our Q-UGVs an indispensable tool and continuously push the limits to improve its ability to walk, run, crawl, climb and eventually swim in complex environments that our customers must operate in, day in and day out. Ultimately, our robot is made to keep our warfighters, workers and K9s out of harm’s way.”
The United States Space Force is the space service branch of the U.S. Armed Forces, one of the eight U.S. uniformed services, and currently the world’s only independent space force.
Ghost Robotics Vision 60 Key Features:
WEIGHT: 51 kg
TOP SPEED: 3 m/s
MAX DISTANCE: 10 km
MAX POWER RUNTIME: 3 hrs
MAX PAYLOAD: 10 kg
ASSEMBLE/DISASSEMBLE: 15 minutes
Report by Dean Murray, South West News Service