It's no secret that most dogs love a good chase.
Now, researchers in Japan are using this feature to remotely control animals without the use of invasive technology.
Recordings of recent experiments with the system show how a dog can be guided to an object and even navigate obstacles by simply following a point of light.
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A YouTube-approved video shows exactly how the new system works. the dog (in this case a poodle) is equipped with a vest that has "light sources in a suit", which light up in the direction in which it should go
According to the team of Tohoku University, the new system allows the movement control of dogs.
A YouTube-approved video shows exactly how it works. the dog (in this case a poodle) is equipped with a vest that has "light sources in a suit", which light up in the direction in which it should go.
In essence, this means that the vest is equipped with a handful of flashlights.
The suit also wears a camera that shows the handler a view from the dog's point of view, allowing the person in charge to see what the dog is seeing as he navigates the room.
Although it may seem simple, the material shows how well this can work to guide a dog through a complex environment without a human at his side.
In the video, the poodle follows the changing points of light around two obstacles to reach the object "A".
When approaching the object to be inspected, the handler also gets a clear view.
According to the researchers, this was achieved with the remote-controlled system.
"The dog moved between the desks and arrived at the destination by following the light stimulation given by the operator," says the team.
The suit also carries a camera that shows the dog handler a view from the dog's point of view. This allows the person in charge to see what the dog sees as he navigates the room (top right).
Recordings of recent experiments with the system show how a dog can be directed to an object of interest and even navigate objects by simply following a point of light
WHAT IS YOUR ULTRA-SENSITIVE THOUGHT?
The slimy surface of a canine nose is behind her pronounced sense of smell.
Moist mucus on the nose of a dog smells "before sorts" by blocking the passage of some odor particles more than others, reports the team.
Pennsylvania State University's Brent Craven and his team examined the MRI images of a dog's nasal passage to see how the air went through them.
They found that different types of molecules were taken at different sites along the respiratory tract of nerve cells.
Dogs have much more nerve cells in their nasal passages than humans and a wider choice of receptors that absorb different chemicals.
In this way they can be trained to detect certain odors, for example on USB drives.
This approach could help to improve the efficiency of dogs used in difficult environments.
While search and rescue dogs are able to travel through small spaces to areas that a human caregiver can not reach, it is currently difficult to get them beyond that point.
Here the lighting system or a similar design could come into play.