Military and law-enforcement divisions have utilized canines for many years, citing their unique senses, intuitions, and intelligence as the driving forces behind their partnership with mankind. While conventional training methods have served their purpose by keeping operatives out of harm’s way, it’s not perfect. That’s why the Army Research Office, a specialized branch of the Army Combat Capabilities Development Command’s Research Laboratory, has created the next step in codependency.
This improved system involves the use of augmented reality to keep handlers away from hazardous locations within the battlefield. Oftentimes, dogs are used to scout locations that are deemed to be too dangerous for human contact, including search and rescue areas, fields with explosive ordinance, and other environments that are unique to military and law enforcement. The goggles, which are mounted to the animal’s head and secured via a muzzle-like strap and drawstring, are outfitted with visual indication systems that will allow handlers to give the dog signals, provide cues, and issue commands from a distance, without having to set foot on the field. Right now, the program is still in its infancy, so it remains to be seen whether or not it will provide a possible alternative to more conventional methods. Head to the U.S. Army’s website to learn more.