Soon, US Army dogs could be wearing AR glasses
US Army dogs could soon be seen wearing AR glasses on the field. The technology is being developed in partnership with an American start-up with the ultimate goal of making the canines more effective in their ground jobs and reducing their direct dependence on human handlers. Here is all you need to know about it.
Dogs need to work with human handlers
Military dogs are often used on the field for detecting threats, like explosives in a given area. They can sniff out the danger but are always required to work alongside human handlers who keep issuing commands. Now, this poses a threat as humans cannot sniff out a bomb and accidentally set it off, or they could be targeted if seen in the open.
This is where the AR glasses come in
To tackle these risks, Command Sight Inc. has developed the AR glasses as part of a project for the US Army Research Laboratory. The device is built on top of the glasses military dogs already wear to keep elements out of their eyes but have been enhanced with augmented reality technologies, which show them visual cues to work on their own on the field.
Glasses also have speakers and cameras
Along with AR cues, the glasses in question also come with a camera and speaker. This enables the dogs' human handlers to sit afar, probably even out of sight, and issue voice-based directional commands to the canines scouting for threats while also monitoring what they are seeing at the same time. The system significantly boosts the on-field safety of the handlers.
However, the technology still needs to evolve
The AR glasses work but the equipment is pretty complex which requires human handlers to be in close proximity. Also, the team is still studying the perception and response behavior of the canines when wearing the device. In the next two years, it hopes to utilize US military's funding to iron out the problems and have a production-level wireless version of glasses ready.