The U.S. military is testing augmented reality glasses for service dogs used in hostilities. It is reported that such a device will provide an opportunity to give commands from a distance. What new opportunities will open up for four-legged soldiers, as well as what other animals will be “called up” to serve in different countries around the world — in our material.
Especially for military dogs serving in the U.S. Army, were invented augmented reality glasses (AR), reports the BBC. This technology, which is called Command Sight, allows a person to give commands to a dog at a considerable distance from it. Service dogs working in a war environment can conduct reconnaissance or search for explosives on their own, but they need a movie therapist to guide them in the event of a dangerous situation.
Currently, human contact with a dog is made by hand signals or laser pointer, but both methods require an instructor to be in proximity to the animal. If AR glasses pass all the tests successfully and are widely used, the distance is no longer a problem.
With the glasses on his face, the dog sees a visual indicator that he will follow to get to the specified point. The filmmaker, in turn, will see the same thing as his ward sees.
“AR will be used to give commands and signals to dogs; a dog cannot interact with this technology the way a human does,” says Dr. Stephen Lee, a senior researcher at the Army Research Laboratory. He added that the entire military film community is “excited about the potential of this research.
Glasses worn on service dogs are not known to be new — they are used as protection or when visibility is poor, but the addition of augmented reality technology is the latest development.
Colleague Stephen Lee of the Royal Joint Institute for Defence Studies Justin Bronk agrees that the idea of AR glasses on dogs may seem like “crazy fun”, but in fact its usefulness is obvious.
“The ability to guide dogs with visual signals through augmented reality glasses without the need to maintain close physical proximity has obvious tactical advantages in various situations,” Bronck said.
Meanwhile, the armed forces and law enforcement agencies of different countries use not only dogs but also other animals as assistants to humans. For example, the Dutch police used specially trained eagles to throw themselves at “hostile” drones and grab the propeller with their claws, disabling them. At the same time, the trainers assured that the eagles perceived the drones as prey, and therefore do not attack other birds or people when it is necessary to release them.
In addition, the eagle does not need an operator who will control its work — the predator has enough of his hunting instinct to shoot down the drone.
At the end of 2017, it became known that the Netherlands decided to abandon the program because of the cost and complexity of training eagles. In the U.S., however, were interested in this experiment and began to study the behavior and hunting tactics of other winged predators — falcons. The U.S. Army believes that the data collected will help develop a protective system against drones, which will be as effective against flying targets as a live falcon.
In addition, the Israeli army for many years, along with people served llamas — they delivered weapons and ammunition right on the battlefield, being able to carry up to 60 kg of cargo. For several years, the authorities decided to replace most of the lamas with modern robots that have an increased carrying capacity.