Remote Controlled Dogs with AR Goggles Are the Army’s Next Unexpected Weapon

Back in the years of the Second World War, the Red Army used so-called anti-tank dogs to fight off the Nazi armored machines. The poor beasts were trained to run under enemy tanks while wearing explosives on their backs. Once there, the explosives were detonated, taking with them the tank, its crew, and the dogs.
Command Sight AR Goggles 3 photos
Photo: U.S. Army
AR Goggles for U.S. Army dogsAR Goggles for U.S. Army dogs
What you are to read about here is not exactly like that, but some might find issues with the army using dogs for rescue or scout operations. Well, they do that now, true, but not like this. The U.S. Army presently uses hand signals and laser pointers to direct dogs to areas of interest, but a human handler is almost always nearby.

Sometimes nearby also means in danger, so the Army is looking at ways of only leaving canine soldiers on the front line, with the handler sitting futher back, and sending his commands to the dog (a real one, not robots) as if it were a drone. Or something like that.

The technology, in fact nothing more than fancy AR goggles, is being developed by a company called Command Sight (don’t bother looking them online, their website is just a little more than a landing page) with funds from the U.S. military.

The goggles have a dual function. First they let the handler see whatever the dog sees, allowing them to make split second decisions. But the dog can also see in his line of vision visual cues that help it head this or that direction, depending on the commands sent by the handler. A sort of remote controlled (or at least remote commanded) war dog, if you like.

"Augmented reality works differently for dogs than for humans. 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 according to the Army Stephen Lee from the Army Research Office.

The prototype currently being tested is wired, so the handler does need to be in close proximity, but once the thing goes wireless, the sky is the limit. We are not being told when a fully working product could be ready.
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About the author: Daniel Patrascu
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Daniel loves writing (or so he claims), and he uses this skill to offer readers a "behind the scenes" look at the automotive industry. He also enjoys talking about space exploration and robots, because in his view the only way forward for humanity is away from this planet, in metal bodies.
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