[nagdu] Computerized Vest Helps Dogs TalkFW: [Gduf-l] Computerized vest help dogs to talk

Derek Moore moorederek at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 29 10:59:59 UTC 2013


Derek E Moore, M.Ed
Grand Rapids, MI 49507

 From: Steven Johnson <blinddog3 at charter.net>
To: "NAGDU Mailing List, the National Association of Guide Dog Users" <nagdu at nfbnet.org> 
Sent: Monday, July 29, 2013 6:38 AM
Subject: [nagdu] Computerized Vest Helps Dogs TalkFW: [Gduf-l] Computerized	vest help dogs to talk

Computerized Vest Helps Dogs Talk

Imagine you are working your guide dog and it stops, telling you the path
before you is blocked. If you are a blind handler, you will know the dog
won't go forward even if you tell it to because it uses intelligent
disobedience to avoid the obstacle. Even as you trust your dog and proceed
to go around the obstacle, you may not know what is in front of you blocking
the way. Instead of being led around the unknown obstacle, and perhaps not
ever realizing what it could be, you are told by the dog via a computerized
voice or text that it is wet cement. Pretty cool, huh?

Say hello to a computerized prototype vest for dogs named "Facilitating
Interactions for Dogs with Occupations", a.k.a. FIDO that is meant to help
handlers communicate with their service dogs. According to recent news
articles, the device looks like a typical service dog vest that hugs the
canine's shoulders and back, fastening under the dog's belly. The FIDO model
has a compact computer with a microprocessor that sits between the dog's
shoulder blades with several distinctly shaped items which can be pulled or
pushed by the dog. Dogs can alert the handler to things like a tornado siren
or alarm, alerting the handler to the danger or obstacle with just a tug on
a string or push of the nose on a button.

Researchers at Georgia Tech are working on the prototype vest to do the very
thing described above and much more. Since dogs can understand about 700
words to convey what they see, smell or hear around them, fine tuning the
technology that enables us and the dog to communicate better is only a tail
wag away from becoming a reality.

This is all possible with a mini computer and a receiver, like Google glass
or an ear bud to either hear or see the information the dog chooses to
convey. For instance, the dog can tug on a toy that represents the
information, like stairs or a curb, which is sent via a microcomputer to the

The alert system will depend on the dog owner's needs, though researchers
are still fine-tuning exactly how the owner will be alerted to what the dog
sees, hears, or smells. Potentially any dog that works with its handler will
be able to utilize the vest. This is especially encouraging for explosive
detection and search and rescue dogs as well as dogs teamed up with people
with disabilities.

The funding for this research is being paid for by a recent grant from
Google Glass team to the Georgia Institute of Technology.

Professor Melody Jackson from the Georgia Institute of Technology came up
with this idea after discovering that one of her students worked with a
guide dog and wanted a better way to find out about the obstacles the dog

To read the article, go to:


Or, go here: http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,2817,2421792,00.asp

nagdu mailing list
nagdu at nfbnet.org
To unsubscribe, change your list options or get your account info for nagdu:

More information about the NAGDU mailing list