A new control suite with a microprocessor, wireless radio, GPS receiver, and an attitude and heading reference system gives lazy dog owners a way to command their pets with a remote control, or a smart phone, or even with out hands at all - the new system provides autonomous guidance of the canine using an embedded command module with vibration and tone generation capabilities. Tests in a structure and non-structured environment show obedience accuracy up to almost 98%.
That old "best friend" can get a bit tiresome, all that rolling over, shaking paws, long walks and eating every crumb of food off the floor. But, what if there were a way to command your dog with a remote control, or even via your smart phone...or even without hands?
Jeff Miller and David Bevly of the Department of Mechanical Engineering at Auburn University note there is a serious side to technology that allows dogs to be given commands remotely and for them to respond consistently. Dogs remain the most accurate and sensitive mobile detection system for hidden explosives, people trapped after earthquakes and other disasters and in sniffing out drugs. Dogs can reach places their handlers cannot and in a noisy environment or where the dog's hearing is compromised giving the necessary commands might also be impossible.
The team has demonstrated that a search&rescue or other working dog can be trained to respond "virtually flawlessly" to remote control tones and vibrations as if they were immediate commands from a human handler.
"The ability to autonomously control a canine has far reaching," the team says. They also point out a similar system might be extended to a variety of applications allowing emergency responders to be guided remotely in hazardous situations such as a collapsing or burning building or for a haptic feedback GPS system to assist navigation by the visually impaired.
Citation: Miller J. & Bevly D.M. (2013). A system for autonomous canine guidance, International Journal of Modelling, Identification and Control, 20 (1) 33. DOI: 10.1504/IJMIC.2013.055911