Mountain Home US Air Force Base adds Robodog to Security Forces
Aviation Defense News January 2022 aerospace air force industry
Posted On Friday, 28 January 2022 12:07
The US Mountain Home Air Force base introduces their first Security Robodog, “King.” King is considered an Unmanned Ground Vehicle (UGV) designed by GhostRobotics and RealNetworks. Robodogs were designed to limit live personnel in compromised environments to enhance safety by using various camera systems and technologies. Through an encrypted cellular network and an android tablet, King can conduct security checks or even perform reconnaissance without an Airman’s life being at risk. That’s just the surface of all the capabilities King can do.
Tech Sgt. Dustin Cain, 366th Security Forces Squadron Flight Sergeant, demonstrates Robodog, “King,” technology on Mountain Home Air Force Base, Idaho, Jan. 25, 2022. King is able to recognize different terrain and adapt accordingly (Picture source: USAF)
On Mountain Home Air Force base, King is used in exercises to determine if other UGV’s could be an asset to Airfield Damage Assessment Response Teams in chemically contested environments.
“If we can send unmanned vehicles to assess potential chemically contaminated or dangerous areas that would significantly reduce the risks to Airmen and enable mission sustainability,” said Tech Sgt. Dustin Cain, 366th Security Forces Squadron Flight Sergeant.
King is able to recognize different terrain and adapt accordingly. He can walk on ice, snow, stairs, and other various obstacles with ease. He can continuously operate for three and a half hours, and walk three to six miles per hour. King also has facial recognition technology. A database of friendly and enemy faces could be uploaded onto King’s system to easily identify and flag them. Anyone that is not on that list would be marked as a stranger or threat based on the uploaded criteria.
King and other Robodogs are not meant to replace Military Working Dogs. A lot of research has been conducted in technology, but nothing has been able to replicate MWD’s efficiency and reliability. The Robodogs are used as an additional tool.
“Under the Agile Combat Employment model that the Air Force is shifting to, UGV’s capitalize on the multi-capable Airmen concept and increase capabilities with a smaller footprint,” said Cain.
See also: In March 2021, the first official semi-autonomous robot dogs were delivered to Tyndall Air Force Base for integration into the 325th Security Forces Squadron.