President Biden's southern border crisis isn't going away anytime soon as Republicans stress the need to beef up border security amid a flood of illegals crossing into the US. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) recently adopted quadrupedal machines to patrol the border's harsh landscape, extreme temperatures, and dangerous obstacles to search for illegals.
DHS' research and development team, the Science & Technology Directorate (S&T), released a statement on Tuesday specifying the use of Ghost Robotics' robot dog 'Ghost Vision 60' by the Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on the southern border to test new surveillance methods. The robot dog's appearance is eerily similar to the rover dogs in the popular dystopian Netflix series "Black Mirror."
"The southern border can be an inhospitable place for man and beast, and that is exactly why a machine may excel there," said S&T program manager, Brenda Long. "This S&T-led initiative focuses on Automated Ground Surveillance Vehicles, or what we call 'AGSVs.' Essentially, the AGSV program is all about…robot dogs."
Ghost Vision 60 is a mid-sized high-endurance, agile, and durable all-weather ground drone that can navigate autonomously or be controlled manually on the border. The robot can be equipped with numerous payloads, including thermal and night vision cameras.
The 100-pound robot dog could one day become mechanical reinforcements for border agents who are currently overwhelmed by a flood of illegal activity (thanks to Biden). The robots can traverse areas where border agents would generally stay clear for safety reasons.
"Just like anywhere else, you have your standard criminal behavior, but along the border you can also have human smuggling, drug smuggling, as well as smuggling of other contraband—including firearms or even potentially, WMD.
"These activities can be conducted by anyone from just a lone individual, all the way up to transnational criminal organizations, terrorists or hostile governments—and everything in between," explained Agent Brett Becker of the CBP Innovation Team (INVNT).
Testing of the robots comes as illegal border crossings hit record highs, detention centers overflow, and cartels incite chaos along the border. Republicans have called the border a "crisis" while the Biden administration downplays the ongoing mess.
Where are most of the illegals coming from?
Which states are heavily impacted by the border crisis?
One of Biden's job-approval ratings has tanked to record lows, partially due to the administration's poor handling of the border. Republicans have called for increased border security, and states like Texas have taken border security into their own hands instead of the federal government.
Increasing news stories about the "border crisis" resulted in slumping approval ratings for the president. The border is just one of many factors that have led to falling poll numbers (inflation is another).
Will robo-dogs be the solution to stop illegal border crossings? Absolutely not, but it shows the federal government is willing to test new technologies to automate security.