In 2019, a dog assigned to the Army’s Delta Force special operations team played a lead role in the operation to find and capture ISIS leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. During the raid the dog chased al-Baghdadi into a tunnel and cornered him. With no place to go, the terrorist leader blew himself up along with three of his children, who he was using as human shields. The valiant dog survived but was seriously wounded.
His actions illustrate the utility of military working dogs. From sniffing out bombs and detecting intruders to performing reconnaissance with cameras on their backs, they often go in harm’s way before humans do.
But controlling dogs off-the-leash is difficult. Audible commands may not be sufficient to get a dog to a point of interest and are conspicuous, risking exposure for the dog and its special ops handler. Recently, the military has developed earphones, both to protect working dogs from loud noises and to communicate handler commands quietly, remotely. Now the idea is being extended to leverage canine vision with augmented reality (AR) goggles.
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