Imagine you and your best furry friend throwing balls in the garden. Imagine your furry friend being overly excited when you walk through the door, when you stand up from your chair, or even when you just look at them. They’re cute, fluffy and adorable. They couldn’t even kill that fly they chased for hours!
Well at a Singapore Airshow this week, Honeywell (A defense contractor) revealed a kit that turns your fluffy and cute pet, into combat trained, camera-equipped scouts for disaster relief, or even war.
The device is called K9 C2SA, and was spotted by defense science this week. The name stands for dog (K9), command and control (C2) and situational awareness (SA). Although it is a failed trademark name, it is a very complicated way to say “dog that responds to orders and can record video”.
Defense news reports “the system includes real time high-resolution video that includes a video stream, day and infrared (IR) illuminated night video, and a recording system. The dog can be located with a remotely controlled IR beacon, IR illuminator, and amber chest light.”
The kit weighs under four pounds and works from a distance of over 800 feet so that signals travel easily from the canine friend to the equipment. There are four buzzers connected to the equipment, to allow silent signals to the dogs. Extensive training is of course required, but this could mean that dogs could respond to these silent signals and know to investigate further, or even a warning of danger. The cameras will then relay the information to the humans who are at a safer distance away.
The dogs are of course aren’t being used for any reason. Dogs can travel to many areas where humans cannot such as navigating through small openings in defenses or underbrush. Honeywell isn’t the first person to catch onto the idea, as last year, a visual engineer revealed their “Cerberus” harness kit for canines.
Although dogs don’t seem the greatest asset, they are in fact easily trained with the best dog trainers only needing several hours to pick up the simplest of responses. With constant training, a fluffy best friend, could be fully trained in the field within a few days. With great response times, and a loud warning signal, hundreds of lives could be saved with just one bark.
This isn’t the first time we have seen dogs out on the field, with man’s best friend being used in airports to check passengers luggage for contraband such as drugs, and even being used to sniff out explosives. Armed with their own bullet proof vests, and extensive training, these dogs are patrons of their own arts. Dogs winning medals for saving lives is a common occurrence so it’s no surprising that someone has taken it to the next level.
Of course, imagining your fluffy friend as an animal of war can be difficult, but with technology progressing in this area, the safety of not just humans is being testing to its limits.