Last week we spilled some ink on the subject of military working dogs (“MWDs”). We reported that both David Petraeus and the Pentagon itself have gone on the record stating that dogs are more effective bomb-detectors than any technological solution currently within our capabilities.
A few days later, Eric Niiler of Discovery News published an article in which he highlighted the increasing reliance of modern militaries on both dogs and robots. While Niiler doesn’t pick a side in the dog vs. robot debate, he readily concedes that properly-trained dogs outperform robots in many important areas. His article contains some interesting insights too, such as that robotics researchers working for the U.S. Government have sought to mimic aspects of the MWD-handler relationship (like gesture-based command communication) in their development of new battlefield robotics applications, essentially adopting a strategy of making robots more “dog-like.”
We think his article is worth a quick read if you’re interested in learning more about the intersection between robotics technology and MWDs.