Soon you may be able to get a Labrador Receiver for your Labrador Retriever and get him or her to do your bidding… as long as you know your bidding’s GPS coordinates.
Here’s the abstract for a paper titled “A system for autonomous canine guidance” recently published by Auburn University mechanical engineering professors Jeff Miller and David Bevly:
This paper presents an approach for autonomous guidance of a canine using an embedded command module with vibration and tone generation capabilities and an embedded control suite. The control suite is comprised of a microprocessor, wireless radio, GPS receiver, and an attitude and heading reference system. A canine maximum effort controller was implemented for autonomous control of the canine, which proved to be effective at guiding the canine to multiple waypoints. Results from structured and non-structured environment two waypoint trials indicated a 97.7% success rate. Three waypoint trials resulted in a success rate of 70.1%, and the overall success rate of the control system was found to be 86.6%.
The idea, of course—and it’s an awesome one—is to aid first responders in situations tricky for first responders, at least the human kind. What’s that Lassie? Timmy’s stuck in dog-sized well? Up-Up-Down-Down-Left-Right-Left-Right-B-A-Select-Start. OK, go get him!
Now if we could just strap one of those things on a linebacker…