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This US state “hired” a robot dog to improve airport security

Dogs are often used in security roles, such as patrolling with their human handlers in busy places like subway stations, train tracks and even airports. In what can be described as a unique deployment, an American state has taken a futuristic step by “hiring” a robotic dog improve airport security.
THE Alaska Government deploys a dog-like robot Boston Dynamics named “Aurora” to ward off migratory birds and other animals Fairbanks International Airport tracks, according to The Verge. About two weeks ago, the Alaska Department of Transportation and Public Facilities (DOT&PF) announced the robot test on Instagram.
“Aurora will be based at Fairbanks International Airport and will improve and increase security and airport operations at ISP and remote airports,” the Instagram post read.

According to the message, Dawn was funded by a federal research grant and doesn’t use AI but boasts “cutting-edge technology that helps it maneuver across all kinds of terrain.”
The robot is designed in-house by Alaska-based graphic designer and DOT&PF employee Andrea Deppner.
“Aurora features a breathtaking depiction of Alaska’s Northern Lights. Swirls of vibrant colors, from deep indigo to emerald green, dance gracefully across Aurora’s metal frame, perfectly capturing the beauty of the Northern Lights,” the post reads.
Aurora’s “Key Responsibilities”
According to the report, Ryan Marlow, Aurora’s manager, said the robot would begin work this fall during the migratory bird season, conducting hourly patrols near the runway. The agency will also test how larger animals like bears and elk respond to aurora. Marlow noted that the robot’s panels can be modified to resemble a fox or coyote.
“The robot acts like a predator, triggering a response in wildlife without resorting to other methods,” Marlow said.
Marlow also said using the robot, funded by a federal grant and costing about $70,000, is preferable to a real dog.
“A Border Collie needs food, training, shelter and does not collect data. This robot provides a non-lethal, non-chemical deterrent to mitigate wildlife, replacing explosives, noisemakers, aerial sprays or chemicals,” Marlow said.

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