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03:05

Israel: Haptic vest for service dogs enables 'remote control' for rescue operations

Israel, Beersheba
September 04, 2019 at 05:39 GMT +00:00 · Published

Scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel have created a haptic vest that allows humans to direct their dogs' behaviour using a remote control, footage showed on Wednesday.

Dogs are usually trained to perform tasks using behavioural obedience techniques, but these cannot be used if the owner is mute, or the dog cannot hear or see you, when it's too noisy or during emergencies when the dogs are rescuing people in disaster areas.

According to the developers, the newly-invented vest, with a receiver for the remote signal and four vibration motors on it, seems to be a solution for such situations.

However, young inventors are not selling the device yet, saying that they are "still working on it in a research aspect" but not hiding their excitement on what has been achieved so far.

03:05
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Scientists at Ben-Gurion University in Beersheba, Israel have created a haptic vest that allows humans to direct their dogs' behaviour using a remote control, footage showed on Wednesday.

Dogs are usually trained to perform tasks using behavioural obedience techniques, but these cannot be used if the owner is mute, or the dog cannot hear or see you, when it's too noisy or during emergencies when the dogs are rescuing people in disaster areas.

According to the developers, the newly-invented vest, with a receiver for the remote signal and four vibration motors on it, seems to be a solution for such situations.

However, young inventors are not selling the device yet, saying that they are "still working on it in a research aspect" but not hiding their excitement on what has been achieved so far.

M/S Scientist putting vest on dog, Beersheba

M/S Dog walking through corridors towards the lab

W/S Task being given to dog via remote control device

C/U Remotely-controlled part on vest

M/S Dog outside with vest on and being controlled

C/U Remote control device with man pushing buttons

M/S Dog laying down as instructed by remote control device

C/U Remotely-controlled part on vest

SOT, Yoav Golan, Vest developer from Ben-Gurion University: "We designed the vest that has a receiver and four vibration motors inside it. The vibration motors are very similar to the ones in a cellphone. We can activate the vibration motors using a remote control. We can press any of the buttons to activate different motors in different ways. If we press one button then the front right motor will vibrate, if we press the left button then the two back motors will vibrate. If you press the third button then the front left one will pulsing-vibrate and so on. So what we did is we taught a dog to associate different types of vibrations with different commands that he should follow. So for instance if he feels a vibration in his front right side he knows that he should turn around, if he feels vibration on his front left side he knows that he should come to me and so on."

C/U Scientist demonstrating vest in lab *CUTAWAY*

SOT, Yoav Golan, Vest developer from Ben-Gurion University: "We developed this product because we wanted to find a different way for people to communicate with dogs other than just speaking to them. So if you have a dog that is working in a very noisy environment like a search and rescue environment, where there is a lot of drilling and noise going on, it is hard to communicate with a dog unless you are right next to it and speaking into its ear. So if you have a remote control where you can remotely give a command to a dog and the dog doesn't have to hear the command, he can just feel it, you have much better control over the dog even when there is a lot of noise. It is also good for dogs that can't hear very well or for people who have trouble speaking."

C/U Scientist demonstrating vest

C/U Vibration motors on vest

SOT, Yoav Golan, Vest developer from Ben-Gurion University: "We just started developing this product in our lab and we are currently not selling it. We are still working on it in a research aspect and it is all very new and very exciting to us. "

M/S Scientist taking vest off dog

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