Friday, April 24, 2009

The Robot Dog Whisperer

The mad scientists at Darpa are tasked with dreaming up the most dastardly and/or cartoonishly absurd technologies they can think of to benefit the U.S. military. If we ever build an army of telepathic robot monkeys, it's a good bet they were dreamed up by Darpa. But sights aren't always set so high. One of their latest ideas is a portable electronic dog training device. Because when you're on the battlefield, do you really have time to reward your puppy with treats? Among other things, Darpa hopes the imaginary device will be able to teach dogs "Discrimination of objects, verbal commands and olfactory clues; retrieval and transport of objects between locations; and association of human vocabulary with object of actions". In other words, rabid bloodlust. Oh, and fetch. More details here.

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