Researchers at Auburn University, Alabama, have developed a system that uses GPS tracking technology to remotely control dogs. Yes, that’s right. Remote controlled dogs.
According to David M. Bevly, a mechanical engineering professor at Auburn who worked on the program: “With our system you don’t have to be in eyesight, versus human guides that do have to be within sight.” This will allow dogs to perform much riskier missions than they normally can, according to Discovery News.
Previously, dogs had to be within eyesight of a human handler. This greatly limited the ability of police dogs to go on risky missions.
The GPS sensors on the dogs send a signal back to the handler, who does not even have to be within visible distance of the dog. The handler then considers the GPS tracking information when sending commands to the dogs, which gently guide them to their intended destination while taking their natural inclinations into account.
The commands are sent through the GPS device by different tones, which the dogs are trained to respond to by moving slightly in the commanded direction.
The main use case of the GPS tracking remote control for dogs, in addition to the aforementioned risky missions, will be long range guidance. “We’re looking at longer range guidance, where you might need a dog to go three or four miles,” Bevly told discovery. The primary customers of the remote control GPS system for dogs will be law enforcement and military.
While some are concerned about putting dogs in harm’s way, supporters of the program insist that solo dogs are much more capable of fleeing dangerous situations than dogs with human handlers are.
Article Written by Greg Minton