U.S. closer to deploying 'robot dog' machines to help government with southern border

"Automated Ground Surveillance Vehicles" will patrol hostile terrain; customs has been working with company for years.
A "robot dog" manufactured by Boston Dynamics

The United States is close to deploying a team of "robot dogs" to help police the southern border, in a move that officials hope will reduce the risks to live personnel in dangerous environments.

The Department of Homeland Security said in a press release this week that its automated patrol units will ideally "leverage technology to force-multiply the CBP presence, as well as reduce human exposure to life-threatening hazards."

The "dogs" have been tested for "the ability to maneuver in harsh environments, operate in tight spaces and be unphased (sic) by high heat, as well as low oxygen conditions," all in efforts to remove human agents from those situations to the greatest extent possible. The machines have also been tested using considerable payload weights. 

Customs and Border Protection indicated that the dogs could be used in more populated areas in addition to the rugged terrain often associated with the southern border. 

"[W]hen missions take Border Patrol Tactical Operators into towns, cities, or ports, they can encounter hazardous environmental conditions, volatile individuals, or hostile threats," CBP Agent Brett Becker said in the release. "These situations can all be inherently dangerous."