A close and mutually beneficial relationship has existed between humans and dogs for 15, 000 years, because these animals can understand commands expressed in a variety of ways. Dogs are able to learn to respond to speech, sounds, and even visual gestures. And now the Ben-Gurion University in Israel has decided to add a new level of dog control - remote control.
The need to issue commands at a distance, without line of sight, exists among rescuers and military personnel operating on rough terrain. And also for people with disabilities who are inaccessible to other types of communication. Israeli scientists decided to use tactile sensations to transmit signals, for which they designed a special dog vest with vibrating elements. The principle is the same as that of a smartphone's vibration signal, which is felt even through fabric, and can have a different duration and rhythm.
The vest has four parts: the front and two side parts are intended for signal transmission, the top contains batteries and a wireless communication module. Vibration in the front and left side means “to me”, in the front and right - “back”, vibrations from both sides are the command “lie down”, and vibration in front “turn around”. Subject Tai, a six-year-old mixed Labrador retriever, learned this set of commands and got used to the vest in just one hour of training.
In the process of conducting practical experiments, another niche has opened up for the application of such a connection - with its help it is possible to control deaf dogs. Or make life easier for blind animals by creating an automatic navigator to help you avoid obstacles. And if we think more broadly, it can become an alternative to neurointerfaces, when instead of creating cyber-organisms with electrodes implanted into the nervous system, we can get a simple and safe way to remotely control living beings.