Cyber-Enhanced Working Dog Harness

In 2014, researchers from the University of North Carolina developed a Cyber-Enhanced Working Dog (CEWD) harness that enables computer-mediated animal-human communication. The harness was designed to enhance communication between search and rescue dogs and their owners. To facilitate communication from dog to human, the harness incorporates inertial measurement units that track the dog’s movements, and physiological sensors that measure the dog’s body temperature and heart rate. The data is relayed wirelessly to the human in order to monitor physical health and level of stress. To facilitate human to dog communication, the harness incorporates haptic technology (vibrations on different parts of the dog’s body) and speakers which are used to relay instructions remotely. The CEWD software translates human instructions into over 100 different signals which the dog is trained to understand. The harness can also enable real-time monitoring of the dog’s environment by incorporating a microphone, camera and sensors. This technology enables dog owners to monitor and respond to dogs’ surroundings and behaviour more effectively even when they are out of sight, to support safer and healthier working conditions. The technology is applicable beyond search and rescue dogs with the potential to improve human-dog relationships in other environments, including guide dogs for the blind, however there is currently no evidence this harness has been made commercially available for pets.

Bozkurt, A., Roberts, D. L., Sherman, B. L., Brugarolas, R., Mealin, S., Majikes, J., . . . Loftin, R. (2014). “Toward cyber-enhanced working dogs for search and rescue.”


Data, Ecological Monitoring, Internet of Things, Lifestyle, Monitoring, Psychology, Regulation