While robots are taking a major role in today’s military scheme of things, there are always other options. Namely, animals. Simply put, a dog can get into places that a robot can’t, and given the right method of controlling them, can be a lot more help than, say, a limited machine. That’s where this backpack design comes into play. Designed within the walls of Auburn University’s Canine Detection Research Institute, it’s a backpack that puts a lot of features into a small space, all in the hopes of being able to guide a dog into a situation remotely.
The backpack system features tiny vibrating panels on both sides of the pack. These panels, when activated remotely, tell the dog which direction to head. Using the integrated GPS system, along with the radio modem inside, controllers are able to see where the dog is exactly at any given moment, and guide the animal to wherever they need it to be. The general idea is to be able to no longer limit an animal by having to make sure that a human is with them at all time. The dog, moving on its own, will be able to cover more ground, and faster.
Obviously, questions about what kind of missions these dogs would be sent on are already popping up. While rescue missions, where the dog would be able to go out and try to find lost hikers, would be less dangerous than other proposed uses, it’s obvious that some will want to use these remote-controlled animals for other uses. Like in war time situations.