The U.S. Air Force used four-legged, dog-sized robots in a security perimeter defense test at Nellis Air Force base in Nevada last week, part of a larger Advance Battlefield Management System (ABMS) demonstration, the tech website The Drive reported.
The report did not specify how many “quadrupedal” robots, built by Ghost Robotics, were deployed for the test, but noted they were used for a variety of tasks, including remote inspection; intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (or ISR) missions; mapping; distributed communications and security.
Photos of the quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicle, or Q-UGV, showed Ghost Robotics’ Vision 60 model used during the exercise showed several variations, including some with an X-shaped antenna and others with a variety of sensors or communication equipment where a head would be.
“Beyond all-terrain stability and operation in virtually any environment, a core design principle for our legged robots is reduced mechanical complexity when compared to any other legged robots, and even traditional wheeled-tracked UGVs,” Ghost Robotics said on its website. “By reducing complexity, we inherently increase durability, agility and endurance, and reduce the cost to deploy and maintain ground robots.”
The Drive said the dogbots were supposed to be part of an ABMS test earlier this year, but that was cancelled due to bandwidth issues, indicating the Vision 60 are data-linked and can communicate with other systems.
The ABMS test was staged Aug. 31-Sept. 3 in conjunction with the U.S. Northern Command and the U.S. Space Force, the Air Force said in a press release.
It was considered an “onramp” exercise, intended to mimic a future battlefield where participants will be presented with “information saturation.”
“One of the key objectives of this onramp was to present a dizzying array of information for participants to synthesize, just like they would see in a real operation,” said Dr. Will Roper, Assistant Secretary of the Air Force for acquisition, technology and logistics.
In the most recent test, operators used the “ABMS to detect and defeat efforts to disrupt U.S. operations in space in addition to countering attacks against the U.S. homeland, including shooting down a cruise missile ‘surrogate’ with a hypervelocity weapon,” the Air Force said.
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