This Dog Vest Sends Good Vibes to Search and Rescue Pups

The vibrating dog vest, developed at Ben-Gurion University, contains four small vibrating motors positioned over the dog’s back and sides to train dogs to respond to commands sent through wireless remote control

Adi Pick 16:1610.07.19
Dogs can be trained to respond to vibration commands received while wearing a vibrating mesh canine vest, researchers at Ben-Gurion University of the Negev (BGU) claim. The technology may be useful for delivering remote commands to dogs for use in search and rescue, and assisting disabled dog owners, BGU says.


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The vibrating dog vest, developed by an interdisciplinary research team at BGU, contains four small vibrating motors positioned over the dog’s back and sides to train or direct dogs to respond to commends sent through wireless remote control. The dog trainer can elicit different commands by controlling the location and duration of the vibrations.


So far, only one dog has participated in the study, Amir Shapiro, director of BGU’s robotics lab, said in a Wednesday interview with Calcalist. Six year old Tai, a labrador retriever and German shepherd crossbreed, learned to respond to several commands sent through the vibrating vest, including “spin,” “down,” and “backpedal,” Shapiro said.


Yoav Golan, a Ph.D. student in BGU’s department of mechanical engineering and Tai’s human companion, is the one who came up with the idea for the vibrating dog vest. It is surprisingly difficult to conduct studies with dogs, Shapiro said, even if using your own. “The university’s veterinarian had to oversee the whole process,” Shapiro added.


Future research will see the vest tested on different dogs varying in breed, age, and training experience, BGU said in a statement.
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