In the United States, the country’s borders could soon be monitored by robot dogs. An experiment took place with motorized quadrupeds from Ghost Robotics and it gave full satisfaction.
Will robots replace human border police? The United States, which shares its borders with Canada and Mexico, has great needs in this area, and robots could be a solution. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS), the American equivalent of the Ministry of the Interior, tested several quadruped robots during patrols on the border with Mexico.
Increased surveillance at the border
” The southern border can be an inhospitable place for people and animals alike says Brenda Long, who manages the DHS research and development program. ” This is why a machine can excel there “. The machines in question are robots built by Ghost Robotics, a competitor of Boston Robotics. The best-selling model by this manufacturer is the Ghost Vision 60, a beautiful baby 76 cm high and 32 kg.
This robot dog can travel 12 kilometers in three hours on a single charge. It can be controlled remotely or move autonomously. One of the advantages of the quadruped is that it is able to carry equipment, such as thermal and night vision cameras. In the past, Ghost Robotics had equipped models with… firearms. But the DHS has not tested this option.
The American authorities have detailed the experiment: the robots patrolled autonomously on places previously reported on GPS, while transporting equipment. They were also used for inspecting train cars and exploring residential buildings. One scenario also involved a simulated encounter with potentially hostile individuals.
If the tests have satisfied the DHS, all is not perfect. Apart from logistical difficulties, using robots to monitor borders reinforces a feeling of dehumanization deplored by politicians and associations fighting for civil rights.