AT&T has partnered with Ghost Robotics to test the many use cases of a fleet of 5G-connected robotic dogs in public safety and first response.
Among the use cases in the field of internet of things (IoT) include many that have previously put humans in dangerous situations. The robot dogs utilize FirstNet, a 5G network built to support first responders, as a mobile network that can be deployed in areas experiencing a natural disaster or other type of outage.
Additionally, FirstNet can partake in response and recovery, facilities surveillance and security operations. These robot dogs can venture into areas that may cause further human dangers or work to reestablish local communication services following major infrastructure damage.
These robotic dogs can also traverse rugged terrain, operating on rocks, hills, rubble and human-built environments such as stairs. These machines can also be fully submerged in water for up to 30 minutes.
For further first response capabilities, the dogs can be equipped with sensors to allow them to operate autonomously without human intervention or could be outfitted with drones to launch and return to the robot’s back while in motion.
One use case involved robotic dogs with wireless network-connected cameras that were deployed at military bases for patrol. At Tyndall Air Force Base in Florida, video feeds in real-time are sent to base personnel who always track activity on the base.
This same robotic dog could be used in commercial use cases either indoors or outdoors to patrol the perimeter of structures such as warehouses, logistics facilities, shopping malls or fleet centers.
Other military efforts the robotic dogs could be used for include:
- Hazmat containment
- Inspection of mines
- Inspection of high voltage equipment
- Detection of explosive devices, including improvised explosive devices (IEDs)
- Use of long-range acoustic devices (LRADs) to warn off boars or feral dog packs from telecommunications infrastructure or military installations
Another use case involves utility companies equipping the robotic dogs with video cameras to perform routine equipment inspections in substations.
Generally, this requires operators to shut down facilities during inspections. With robotic dogs, this eliminates this precaution. This particular inspection market could be worth as much as $13.3 billion globally in the near future, according to Allied Market Research.
These robotic dogs can also be equipped with technology that extends network connectivity into difficult-to-reach areas or mechanical arms that can grip and carry materials such as tools. Their use cases include pick-and-pack capabilities for warehouse operations to improve order fulfillment efficiency.