American technology firm Onyx Industries has developed an advanced tail-kit to enable US Army robot dogs to swim for more than half an hour.
Named the Nautical Autonomous Unmanned Tail (NAUT), the kit can be integrated with the Vision 60 robotic dog currently deployed at Tyndall Air Force base.
Ghost Robotics posted a Twitter video showing the military robot utilizing the device to swim through water until reaching the shore and continuing on its way.
The NAUT uses a water jet to propel itself through the water, making the robot more versatile for various missions.
The attachment can reportedly move Vision 60 at a speed of three knots (5.5 kilometers/3.5 miles per hour) and keep it swimming for up to 35 minutes.
With its new amphibious capability, the robot can be used to conduct surveillance across rivers and lakes.
The remotely piloted platform can also help military units determine safe paths through bodies of water that may be riddled with mines.
Additionally, the robot dogs fitted with the NAUT device could help patrol coastal or river areas.
The platform can also scan areas inaccessible by ordinary vehicles.
Vision 60 Robot Dog
According to Ghost Robotics, the Vision 60 is a mid-sized, all-weather ground system appropriate for a broad range of unstructured urban and natural environments.
Its “agile and durable” body can carry up to 10 kilograms (22 pounds) of payload.
The dog’s internal power source can enable travel at up to three meters (9.8 feet) per second for three straight hours.
“Our goal is to make our Q-UGVs (Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicles) an indispensable tool and continuously push the limits to improve its ability to walk, run, crawl, climb and eventually swim in complex environments that our customers must operate in, day in and day out,” the company states on its website.