Robot dogs seeking new homes in U.S. military and security agencies

Robot dogs are finding new homes in Washington’s security establishment, as a Philadelphia-based firm is building new military companions with the goal of keeping service members and other personnel away from danger.

Ghost Robotics showed off its four-legged creatures at a military expo in D.C. this week. The firm recently hired lobbyists and has been spotted conducting demonstrations in Northern Virginia.

The robotic dogs’ ability to bite, bark, and smell goes beyond what people expect from man’s best friend — these dogs can carry weapons, communicate via a speaker, and detect biological, chemical, nuclear, and radiation threats.

“The robot is a tool, right? It’s really a tool for force multiplication; for keeping humans out of harm’s way,” Ghost Robotics CEO Gavin Kenneally said in an interview.

Mr. Kenneally’s team maneuvered its “quadrupedal unmanned ground vehicle” using a Samsung tablet at the sprawling Modern Day Marine exhibition in Washington, D.C., where government and security customers shop and test the latest equipment offered by a few hundred vendors.

The robot dogs can climb, crawl, walk, and run, moving at a maximum speed of about ten feet per second. Mr. Keneally said the robots are also capable of going underwater, and Ghost Robotics can craft software teaching it how to doggy paddle through water.

Assembling and disassembling the robots for repair takes approximately 15 minutes, according to Mr. Keneally, who said the robot’s endurance and low level of noise create advantages over other drones and robots.

“What we’re trying to do is have all humans further from harm’s way and have the robot be the thing that goes up ahead and provides [intelligence, surveillance, and reconnaissance] or inspection or security, or whatever needs to happen,” he said.

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Author: HP McLovincraft

Seeker of rabbit holes. Pessimist. Libertine. Contrarian. Your huckleberry. Possibly true tales of sanity-blasting horror also known as abject reality. Prepare yourself. Veteran of a thousand psychic wars. I have seen the fnords. Deplatformed on Tumblr and Twitter.

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