Remote control your dog with this vibrating GPS backpack

While it's true that dogs are already capable of responding to remote control, they generally have to be within sight or earshot. A doggie backpack developed at Auburn University allows control of a dog from miles away through a computer interface, just like a computer game.

Dogs are fairly awesome at performing a wide variety of tasks that humans (and all our fancy electronics) just can't match. The only real limitation is that outside of very specific circumstances, dogs need to be in direct communication with a person to be effective.

This backpack system, from Auburn University's Canine Detection Research Institute, uses vibrating side panels combined with tones to direct specially trained 'super dogs' left or right. The backpack also contains a high resolution GPS system and a radio modem that send the dog's location back to a remote computer, and testing has shown that dogs can be directed quite accurately to points hundreds of yards apart.

There are a bunch of advantages of directing a dog like this. Without being tethered to a human, dogs can move much faster and more stealthily, and mission ranges of three or four miles are possible. They can negotiate obstacles in a way that things like robots just can't, and arguably, they're better suited to be sent into dangerous situations.

While this system is so far designed to just remotely direct the dogs based on their GPS heading, it's certainly possible to add a camera to see what the dog sees, or even some doggie headphones to transmit specific verbal commands.

CDRI, via Discover

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