As creepy as it may sound, scientists have come up with a canine remote control system that will make our furry friends respond to our commands from afar, turning them into some sort of bio-robots.
The ethical concerns here are hard to ignore, especially that dogs are already used by humankind for all sorts of tasks, from sniffing out explosives and drugs to finding survivors in disaster areas or detecting low blood sugar levels.
But the team behind this autonomous canine guidance system insists their idea is primarily aimed at making dogs even more efficient on life saving missions without human direction, not at turning the canine companions into slaves.
The remote control system for dogs was invented by a team of engineers with the Auburn University of Alabama and it is practically a computerized harness system fitted on the dog as some sort of backpack.
The suit includes a microprocessor, a GPS receiver and a wireless audio system, which allows dogs to receive and carry out commands remotely. Basically, the command module included in the canine remote control system will deliver audio and vibrational cues to which the dog was previously trained to respond.
The system so far operates autonomously, sending pre-established commands to the dogs, but it could certainly work to deliver real time commands from a human user. It would be ideal for use in areas where the human owner would not be able to accompany the dog or in loud areas where the dog could not hear the owner’s commands.
During tests held in both unstructured and structured environments, the dogs fitted with this canine autonomous guidance system had a response accuracy rate of about 87 percent, researchers said.
Further down the road, Auburn University scientists are also hoping to use the technology for humans. A similar system could be successfully used to guide visually impaired people or to direct first responders in disaster areas.
[Image via Gizmag]