What functions can robot dogs perform?
Earlier this year, we reported how the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was considering deploying these robot dogs to patrol the Southwest U.S. border. According to the DHS, the quadruped robotic animals are rugged devices that can work in natural terrains like sand, rock, and hills but also on human-built environments like stairs.
In June, the robotic dog's makers unveiled an added feature called Nautical Autonomous Unmanned Tail (NAUT) that enables the dogs to swim in shallow waters as well. This makes them perfect for a broad spectrum of deployments since these dogs can work round the clock without getting tired.
How does Space Force plan to deploy them?
According to the press release, the Space Force plans to deploy the robotic dogs, formally known as Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicles (Q-UGVs), for "manual and repetitive tasks". To this effect, the youngest branch of the U.S. military carried out the demonstration on July 27, and part of the exercise was also posing in front of a giant U.S. flag.
The U.S. Air Force, which oversees the Space Force, seems to have a soft spot for these Q-UGVs and has been experimenting with them for over two years now, mostly in their patrol dog versions. This also means that we will see a much toned-down version of the Q-UGV as compared to the gun-totting versions, we saw last year.