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Friday, April 19, 2024

Korean Air Force mulling use of robot guard dogs to patrol bases

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A robot military dog patrols a U.S. Air Force air base [U.S. AIR FORCE]
A robot military dog patrols a U.S. Air Force air base [U.S. AIR FORCE]

Robot military dogs may soon replace patrol dogs to guard the Korean Air Force’s air bases.

The Air Force announced on Monday that it is looking into the feasibility of replacing patrol dogs with robot military dogs as an alternative due to the expected reduction in the number of dog handlers on air bases.

The Air Force said it would study the feasibility of replacing patrol dogs such as shepherds and Labrador retrievers, which currently patrol major facilities at air bases, with robot dogs.

“Currently, there are limitations to controlling and correcting human-related accidents and the dogs’ aggression,” the Air Force explained. “We must study how to overcome factors that limit mission performance at air bases, such as limits to the operation of military dog handlers due to troop reductions.”

The Air Force added that the feasibility study is being conducted because introducing robot military dogs would allow the Air Force to transition from one handler assigned to one dog to one handler managing multiple robot dogs.

The U.S. Air Force’s current piloting of quadrupedal robot military also served as a basis for the Korean Air Force’s current research.

The U.S. Air Force fields Vision 60, a patrol quadrupedal robot dog built by robotic development company Ghost Robotics. This robot dog is tasked with patrolling for hazards before troops enter a mission area. It can run at a speed of three meters per second for up to three hours.

Korean defense contractor LIG Nex1 announced its intention to acquire Ghost Robotics in December last year.

BY BAE JAE-SUNG, LIM JEONG-WON [lim.jeongwon@joongang.co.kr]