Smart, Haptic Vest for Dogs

New Human-Canine Communications
Source:  Ben Gurion University

Wireless, Remote Controlled Dog Vest to Guide the Dog
Engineers at Ben-Gurion University in Israel have invented a haptic vest for search and rescue, military and service dogs.  It enables the handlers to direct the animal even when they are out of sight or out of vocal range.  Haptic technology simulates the sense of touch and motion.  The system operates by wireless remote control.

Remote Controlled Guidance and Commands
The team used a standard dog vest and placed four, small motors inside that operate by remote control.  They vibrate against the dog's back and sides.  The dog is trained to understand the vibrations and respond properly to them.  It enables the animal to be guided remotely.

Proof of Concept
The team calls the haptic vest a "proof of concept" that shows very promising results.  They say it opens the way toward using haptics as a new form of human-canine communications.  In their study the dogs reacted to the "vibrotactile remote commands" as well as or even better than vocal commands.  The researchers want to expand the technology that they are embedding in the vests to increase functionality.  They also intend to test it on a variety of dogs of various breeds and ages.

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