Due to the continuing surge of migrants at the US-Mexico Border, the feds upgraded its security to cutting-edge cameras developed by a virtual reality wunderkind in monitoring the southern portion of the border by constructing an invisible border wall.

US-Mexico Border Upgrades Security Using ASTs

Known as the Autonomous Surveillance Towers or the ASTs, the high-tech watch poles are powered by solar energy and run by artificial intelligence in detecting movement within its two-mile radius. The information gathered by the ASTs would be sent in real-time to agents who would be patrolling the area.

The high-tech watch poles are now being installed at different points along the almost 2,000-mile span of the US-Mexico border.

According to New York Post, Border Patrol agent Joel Freeland said that the Autonomous Surveillance Towers were placed in remote locations that would be difficult to reach. Freeland added that the ASTs would operate 24 hours a day, but the agent assured that the new technology was environmentally friendly because it is solar power dependent.

The ASTs were developed by Palmer Luckey, the 28-year-old founder and the designer behind Oculus VR and Oculus Rift.

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High-Tech Virtual Wall in San Diego, El Paso Sectors

After it was first tested in 2018 in the San Diego Sector of the border, the ASTs have recently been implemented in the El Paso portion of the border, which is one of the busiest crossing points for migrants along the border.

In the fiscal year 2020, the El Paso Sector has detained a total of 54,396 individuals. However, days before the fiscal year 2021 would end, the numbers ballooned to almost three times. The latest numbers showed that there were already a total of 155,892 detained individuals, with the fiscal year ending on September 30, Fox News reported.

Moreover, Freeland emphasized that the El Paso Sector's newest AST resulted in the majority of their recent apprehensions. Freeland added that the tower sits on a high remote patch of scrub where the borders of Texas, New Mexico, and the Mexican state of Chihuahua meet. The cutting-edge cameras have been in operation for only the last two weeks.

Officials would not provide an exact number of apprehensions linked to the ASTs.

"The ASTs scan the environment with radar to detect movement, orients a camera to the location of the movement detected by the radar, and analyzes the imagery using algorithms to autonomously identify items of interest, such as people or vehicles," U.S. Customs and Border Patrol's statement read.

The CBP said that they were planning to deploy 140 of the cameras to create a virtual wall along the border.

Furthermore, the inventor, Luckey, who is also a supporter of former President Donald Trump, placed the towers in the market through Anduril Industries, a defense technology startup he founded in 2017.

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Written by: Jess Smith

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