It’s almost fitting that a space station (of the ground-based variety) is patrolled by robot dogs. Drone-maker Ghost Robotics might be in line to handle that particular job if a recent Space Force demo is any indication.
A recent demonstration by the US Space Force at Cape Canaveral Space Force Station points to that future. The demo took place in late July and saw Ghost Robotics’ Quadruped Unmanned Ground Vehicles, or Q-UGV drones, patrolling the facility.
Who you gonna call?
The demo was intended to demonstrate how “…manual and repetitive tasks can be automated using ground-based robots”. In other words, the drones won’t be used to ambush intruders. Maybe they’ll do that in their downtime.
Instead, the robots will perform “…damage assessments and patrol to save significant man hours”. If that sounds like they’re replacing humans with robots, you’re more or less right. Ghost Robotics’ four-legged critters will handle the boring sort of work humans tend to suck at after a while. In other words, it’ll function a little like Boston Dynamics’ Spot, which has been put to work guarding factories and similar facilities. This just has a coat of military paint on. Nothing to be scared of.
Although… Ghost Robotics might sound familiar. That’s because the company is also responsible for the SPUR, or Special Purpose Unmanned Rifle. This particular robot looks like the Q-UGV drone, only with a bloody great big rifle mounted on top of it. The SPUR’s ten-shot magazine is chambered for 6.5 Creedmoor or 7.62 x 51 NATO rounds and has a 1.2km effective range. If Q-UGV runs into serious trouble, maybe they’ll call a few of these in on overwatch. Now that’s a frightening thought.