The United States border has been a hotly contested issue ever since President Donald Trump took office back in 2017, with controversy surrounding both sides of the question of whether the U.S. should put up a border wall near Mexico or not.
Now, the United States Department of Homeland Security is quietly putting in motion a plan that hasn’t drawn nearly as much attention, but may be similarly controversial once word gets out: the anticipated use of robot guard dogs near the U.S.-Mexico border.
The news was broken by the website Audacy.com, along with CBS News and other major news outlets.
Currently, the Department of Homeland Security is testing out four-legged robot dogs, also known as Automated Ground Surveillance Vehicles or AGSVs, for the surveillance purposes along the southern United States border with Mexico.
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The Department confirmed that these robot dogs would likely be deployed soon according to a blog post.
“Don’t be surprised if in the future we see robot ‘Fido’ out in the field, walking side-by-side with [Customs and Border Protection] personnel,” they wrote.
The purpose of these futuristic reinforcements is to help the agency “better allocate resources” and “fill important capability gaps,” according to the Audacy article.
The DHS also said it hopes to “reduce human exposure to life-threatening hazards.”
“The southern border can be an inhospitable place for man and beast, and that is exactly why a machine may excel there,” said Brenda Long, Science and Technology Directorate program manager.
The dogs also come equipped with different types of cameras, including thermal, night vision, and other sensors including chemical, biological, and radioactive that can send real-time video and other data back to human operators in command centers both near and far.
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The government has been working on the project for more than two years, and has settled on a re-engineered version of its previously created 100-pound robot dog.
“It is a rugged, quadruped robot. It traverses all types of natural terrain including sand, rocks, and hills, as well as human-built environments, like stairs. That’s why you want legs, and not tracks,” Gavin Kenneally, the chief product officer at the robot’s creator, Ghost Robotics, said in the post.
Trials will continue until some type of full deployment can be achieved, the Audacy article stated.
All of this of course begs the question: what do you think about this development?
Are robots and robotic instruments of surveillance a good idea, or are we opening up a can of worms we really shouldn’t be at this point in time?
Let us know what you think in the comments section, and thanks as always for reading!
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