Dogs! They are man's best friends and very often in military operations, they are also their best assets. That's why it is so important to give them every possible advantage during dangerous missions.
Now, a new technology has been developed by the U.S. Army in collaboration with private firm Command Sight that makes dogs more independent, allowing their handlers to do their job more safely. The new gear consists of augmented reality goggles that enable a handler to give their dogs commands remotely while remaining safely out of the danger zone.
The novel tech is designed to be understood by dogs and even allow their handlers to see everything the animal sees. “Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans,” said Dr. Stephen Lee, an ARO senior scientist.
“AR will be used to provide dogs with commands and cues; it’s not for the dog to interact with it like a human does. This new technology offers us a critical tool to better communicate with military working dogs.”
The research for the goggles is also offering unprecedented insight as to how dogs perceive cues. Up to now, military dogs were directed either by hand gestures, lasers, or audio input which was confusing. The goggles could provide a far superior alternative to properly giving commands to these animals.
“We are still in the beginning research stages of applying this technology to dogs, but the results from our initial research are extremely promising,” said Dr. A.J. Peper, founder of Command Sight.
“Much of the research to date has been conducted with my rottweiler, Mater. His ability to generalize from other training to working through the AR goggles has been incredible. We still have a way to go from a basic science and development perspective before it will be ready for the wear and tear our military dogs will place on the units.”