DHS S&T, CBP Evaluate Robot Dogs for Border Security

The Department of Homeland Security Science and Technology Directorate and Customs and Border Protection are conducting research, development and evaluation of quadruped robotic platforms that looks like robot dogs for potential border security applications.  The Automated Ground Surveillance Vehicle effort, led by S&T, is essentially aimed at being a force multiplier for CBP while reducing dangers to humans in life-threatening situations. The 100-pound robot dogs are developed by Ghost Robotics

. “Operating out in the desert or mountains, agents and officers have to content with the rugged terrain, high heat and humidity, and then, of course, they come across those who wish to do harm,” says agent Brett Becker of the CBP Innovation Team. “But there are plenty of risks closer to home, too. For instance, when missions take Border Patrol Tactical Operators into towns, cities, or ports, they can encounter hazardous environmental conditions, volatile individuals, or hostile threats.” A DHS spokesperson tells HSR that there is no timetable to deploy the robot dogs and they are not being designed or tested to engage with migrants. Rather, the AGSVs do show “potential for operational benefit in certain high-risk situations where the utilization of a robotic platform may keep an agent or officer out of harm’s way,” the spokesperson says. “Additionally, a robotic platform can be utilized as a platform for communications and sensor equipment to fill gaps in communications and situational awareness in remote areas.” Challenges with the robot dogs include battery life and mobility in rugged terrain, “limiting their usefulness in many operational environments,” the spokesperson says.

Epirus Introduces High-Power Microwave Pod for Use on Small UAS

Defense electronics company Epirus has introduced a multiple-shot high-power microwave (HPM)pod that can be mounted on a small unmanned aircraft system for applications such as counter-drone use, building on the company’s ground-based Leonidas counter-electronic weapon introduced in 2020. The Leonidas pod includes multiple mission mounts, can power up and down in minutes, has an extended battery life, and can operate in standby mode to give operators the flexibility to activate the system as needed, further extending the battery life. Leonidas and a drone-mounted Leonidas pod can be deployed together to achieve greater range and power for layered defense.

NCTC Releases Mobile App for sharing Unclassified Counterterrorism Info

The National Counterterrorism Center has release aCTknowledge, a mobile application that shares counterterrorism reports, analysis, training resources and alerts for federal and military partners. The Office of the Director of National Intelligence says the app is the first that provide real-time unclassified intelligence on potential terrorist activity. The app is currently available to federal government and military partners and in the near future will be open to state, local, tribal, territorial and other partners.