Robots at Portland National Guard

PORTLAND, Ore. — We’re used to seeing canines working alongside first responders, but what about robot dogs?

The 142nd Wing’s new Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle – better known as the “robot dog” – is being tested at the Portland Air National Guard Base. They are the first guard unit in the country to receive a QUGV.

Its goal is for the four-legged robot, fitted with multiple cameras, to patrol the base perimeter and provide extra surveillance.

“We’re also going to have the capability to speak to people through to robot,” TSgt. Jamie Cuniff of the 142nd Security Forces Squadron. “So if we do encounter an individual, we can engage with them verbally, remotely, from another place on-base, while we’re responding at the same time, it’s a simultaneous response capability that we’ve never seen before.”

The robot dog can walk up to seven miles on one battery charge, before returning automatically to its dog house to recharge.

“We’ve just been testing it by programming in different routes and seeing how the GPS works in our situation here at the base. Also putting it through different terrain tests, up and down hills and stairs, seeing how it interacts with vehicles and how vehicles interact with it and the people on the installation,” said TSgt. Cuniff.

The dog’s name is still up for debate. Security forces are taking suggestions from other Air National Guard members for the dog.

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