Technology is such an incredible thing that we often take for granted because we are so saturated with it. From the newest gadgets to the latest in electronic technology, we often don’t hear of the other great things out there because there is just so many things to hear about! One thing that you may not have heard about but is quite monumental is cyber dogs. While you most likely haven’t heard of them, cyber dogs are rescue dogs who are in an experimental phase in the development of Cyber-Enhanced Working Dog (CEWD) technology. With CEWD, the purpose is to be able to enhance communication between humans and dogs, especially when it comes to search and rescue teams, with wearable technology for canines.
The technology is still being worked out at the North Carolina State University, who are currently working with real dogs to establish a two-way connection between rescuers and dogs in the very near future in order to help out and better humankind.
“We’ve developed a platform for computer-mediated communication between humans and dogs that opens the door to new avenues for interpreting dogs’ behavioral signals and sending them clear and unambiguous cues in return,” explained Dr. David Roberts, who is an assistant professor of computer science at the university and co-lead author. “We have a fully functional prototype, but we’ll be refining the design as we explore more and more applications for the platform.”
When it comes to search and rescue work, they have already worked out a harnessed set of equipment that can be used with a medium-size or a large-sized dog. The equipment includes sensors, microphones and cameras in order to send back very accurate information and data to the handlers of the rescue dogs.
It’s in very early stages, but it’s coming along. The next phase of testing will involve shifting the focus to service dogs who can assist with people who have PTSD and other physical, mental and emotional issues as well as guide dogs for the blind. For that phase, the equipment will be laden with technology that can assist in measuring a dog’s stress and then signaling it to the owner. The final phase would be the technology for both dog trainers as well as regular dog owners who want to know how to better handle their dogs.
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