Command Sight is working with the US Army to create custom made augmented reality goggles for combat dogs. These goggles will come in handy to send orders to the dogs from a distance. Command Sight is managed by the US Army Research Laboratory.
Combat dogs are trained to scout for hazardous devices and explosives. But they need instructions to get started. With the AR goggles for combat dogs, their handlers can give them instructions from a distance. Currently, hand gestures and laser pointers are used by soldiers to guide the combat dogs. Both these techniques require the handler to be near the dogs. The Army said if augmented reality goggles for combat dogs are widely used, it would reduce the risks of soldiers going near explosives.
How do the goggles for combat dogs work?
The goggles for combat dogs have a visual indicator that the dogs need to be trained to follow. The indicator will guide them to the specific spot. The dog’s vision will be visible to the handler via remote video feed.
Dr. Stephen Lee said: “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.” The senior scientist with the Army Research Laboratory further explained how the military working dog community is rather happy and excited about these AR goggles.
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Each of the goggles will be custom made for each service dog. The indicator within the goggles will guide them and allow them to react to the visual cues.
Military dogs are used to wearing goggles as protection against bad weather or for aerial drops. Now the augmented reality system will be brand new for them.
Dr. AJ Peper, the founder of Command Sight said that the project was in its beginning stages, but the initial results are “extremely promising.” His own Rottweiler, Mater, has been helping out a lot with the research.
Command Sight has received extra funding after the initial testing to make the goggles for combat dogs wireless. The current ones are leashed, and that might become a problem in certain situations.
All images: COMMAND SIGHT / US ARMY