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The Indian Army is gearing up to deploy its first batch of robotic MULES (Multi-Utility Legged Equipment) – dog-shaped machines designed for surveillance and logistics in challenging terrain.

According to sources within the defense establishment, a September 2023 emergency procurement order secured 100 of these robotic companions. A pre-dispatch inspection of the first 25 MULES has been completed, paving the way for their imminent induction into the Army.

The emergency procurement process, allowing contracts up to Rs 300 crore, explains the initial small-scale deployment. However, successful performance will likely lead to a much larger procurement order.

These robotic dogs boast advanced features like thermal cameras and various sensors, making them ideal for surveillance missions. They can even be equipped with small arms, potentially engaging enemies while minimizing risk to human soldiers.

Furthermore, the MULES can carry light loads to frontline troops, proving valuable assistance in difficult terrain. Their deployment is particularly suited for mountainous regions and situations where the threat of terrorist activity exists. This technology offers a clear advantage – robotic MULES can navigate treacherous areas and perform tasks without endangering human lives, including those of trained military dogs.