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The US Army is testing augmented reality goggles for dogs

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The US Army is trialing a new technology that could “fundamentally change how military canines are deployed in the future” — a pair of augmented reality goggles for dogs.

Dogs are put to many uses in modern militaries, from detecting explosives and searching for targets to accompanying infantry patrols in dangerous areas. Usually, handlers issue commands to their dogs using hand signals or laser pointers, but these techniques require line of sight with the dog, limiting how far canines can stray from their humans.

AR reality goggles, though, could let military dogs operate at a distance without handlers losing control. The goggles have a built-in camera that transmits live footage remotely, and a heads-up display that can be used to show commands to the dogs. A dog could be directed to search a specific location, for example, while their handler stays hidden.

The prototype goggles are being tested on a rottweiler named Mater.
Image: US Army

The goggles are just a prototype for now and are being developed by Command Sight, a Seattle-based private company. The work is being overseen by the Army Research Laboratory. The prototype goggles are wired, but future versions will be wireless. According to a report from Stars and Stripes, the goggles’ command system works by simulating what a dog would see when following instructions via a laser pointer.

“Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans,” Army Research Laboratory senior scientist Stephen Lee said in a blog post. “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

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US Army trials augmented reality goggles for dogs

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The goggles are both a camera and a display
The goggles are both a camera and a display

The US Army has shown off augmented reality goggles for combat dogs, designed to let them receive orders at a distance.

The technology, made by a firm called Command Sight, is managed by the US Army Research Laboratory.

Military dogs can scout ahead for explosives and other hazards, but need instructions.

The goggles are designed to let their handlers direct them, safely out of harm’s way.

In current combat deployments, soldiers usually direct their animals with hand signals or laser pointers – both of which require the handler to be close by.

But that need not be the case if the prototype AR goggles are widely adopted, the army said.

Inside the goggles, the dogs can see a visual indicator that they can be trained to follow, directing them to a specific spot.

The handler, meanwhile, can see what the dog sees through a remote video feed.

“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,” said Dr Stephen Lee, a senior scientist with the Army Research Laboratory (ARL).

He explained that augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans, adding: “The military working dog community is very excited about the potential of this technology.”

Each set of goggles is specially fit for each dog, with a visual indictor that allows the dog to be directed to a specific spot and react to the visual cue in the goggles.

The goggles themselves are not new – military dogs are already used to wearing them as protection in bad conditions or for aerial drops, but the augmented reality system is a new development.

Command Sight’s founder Dr AJ Peper said the project was still in its

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Augmented reality goggles could help military dogs find bombs, chemicals

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Oct. 6 (UPI) — Researchers have developed augmented reality goggles that would allow handlers to give commands to military working dogs while staying out of harm’s way.

The military often uses dogs to scout areas for explosive devices and hazardous materials and to assist in rescue operations.

But working dogs need handlers who can give them commands while they work — typically by using hand signals or laser pointers, which can pose a safety risk by providing a light source.

Being present to give those commands can put soldiers in harm’s way, and generating a light source can also be dangerous in some situations.

Handlers have tried audio communication — using a camera and walkie talkie placed on the dog — but the verbal commands can be confusing for the dog.

So researchers funded by the Army’s Small Business Innovation Research program and managed by the Army Research Office have developed goggles dogs can wear while working — and get directional commands from soldiers working elsewhere.

The first prototype was built by Command Sight, a Seattle-based company started in 2017 by A.J. Peper to bridge human-animal communication.

The goggles are tailored to fit each dog and have a visual indicator that lets the dog be directed to a specific spot by responding to a visual cue in the goggles, using input from a soldier, who can see everything the dog sees while using a separate device.

“Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans,” said Dr. Stephen Lee, a senior scientist with the Army Research Office. “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 prototype is wired