Movies like “Terminator” should have been a good deterrent for ideas like the one the United States Border Control is considering. Alas, I suppose as long as they don’t turn on Border Patrol officials, they’re fine with whatever happens to the offending party at the border.
The robotic dogs are being supplied by Ghost Robotics, who got a lot of press late last year for their robots having rifles. These would most likely be the same types of patrol units employed at the border so they could help defend the United States from things like human trafficking and drug import/export.
“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,” Agent Brett Becker of the CBP Innovation Team (INVNT) explained. “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.”
You can see more of why these robot dogs are being considered for help patrolling. They have a range of about 7.5 miles per charge (as of last year), and will automatically go back to a self-charging dog house. They are able to travel on terrain that is not reachable by car, can climb stairs, rocks, and other difficult areas.
I would hope that they would have some kind of com device so that you could speak to whoever the dog tracked down, but I haven’t found any information stating that is the case. So far it appears as if these dogs will be using their cameras to patrol areas and alerting the border patrol if they see any unusual movement. In which case they can then drive out to the location and handle it themselves.
The problem would come if they did decide to beef up the dogs with things like guns, which Ghost Robotics WAS playing around with just last year. Remember that scene from “Robocop” where they brought in the new robot, and it totally blasted one of the corporate guys away? Yeah, let’s hope that doesn’t happen.