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U.S. Air Force tests Vision 60 robot dogs for security forces

The U.S. Air Force deployed an unusual new system during a recent exercise: "Robot dogs" designed to enhance the situational awareness of security forces during a mission. During the exercise, airmen assigned to the 321st Contingency Response Squadron, 621st Contingency Response Wing secured the airfield. Jared Keller reports on Task & Purpose.
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Tech. Sgt. John Rodiguez, with the 321st Contingency Response Squadron security team, provides security with a Ghost Robotics Vision 60 prototype at a simulated austere base during the Advanced Battle Management System exercise on Nellis Air Force Base, Nevada, on Sept. 1, 2020 (Picture source: U.S. Air Force/Tech. Sgt. Cory D. Payne)

The robot dogs -- developed by Ghost Robotics as part of an Air Force Research Laboratory contract awarded in April 2020 -- were deployed last week to Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada as part of an agile combat employment exercise during which airmen scrambled to secure a simulated airfield against hostile attack.

The exercise was planned to test the Air Force's next-generation Advanced Battle Management System, "a state-of-the-art system designed to provide combatant commanders the ability to control Department of Defense assets in real-time", according to the Air Force.

The specific model robot dog is technically called the Vision 60, a military-grade version of Ghost Robotics' Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle (Q-UGV) platform that's designed for intelligence, surveillance and reconnaissance (ISR) missions; distributed communications; and "persistent security," as The War Zone put it. The Vision 60 robot dogs provided visual assessments of the area while allowing 621st CRW airmen to maintain a tighter perimeter to the aircraft as the other supporting airmen arrived on the scene.

While details are scarce regarding the specific capabilities tested on the Vision 60 robot dogs during the ABMS demonstration, photos published to the Defense Visual Information Distribution Service show airmen from the 621st CRW operating with multiple variants of the platform.


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