#1208: Dogtag

There is now great interest in robotic systems which can help retrieve wounded soldiers from a battlefield.

Today’s invention is a hybrid animal/machine system which does not rely on machine intelligence -and might therefore work robustly.

A small terrier is equipped with a light body shield. This is attached to an armoured trolley via a lightweight cable. As the dog runs, the cable becomes slightly taught and the animal’s choice of direction is transmitted to the trolley’s motors via the bend within the cable. The dog can thus direct the trolley, running on powered tracks, but without having to pull it.

When the dog detects a wounded soldier it finds the scented tag attached to a harness with which he or she is equipped. The dog has been trained to drag the tag and drop it into an aperture on the trolley. A winch automatically pulls the soldier aboard and the dog runs back to base pursued closely by the trolley.

One Comment:

  1. Here’s a funny response to my submission of this idea to the nice (imaginative, dog loving) folks in the US Defense Dept:

    STTR Topic No: A10a-T028
    Topic Title: Robotic Combat Casualty Extraction
    An answer has been received for your question: Why not consider this hybrid solution?
    https://iotd.patrickandrews.com/2010/03/05/1208-dogtag/

    Answer: We are not looking for a solution that involves dogs. The “armored” carrier in the proposed solution does not appear to be able to negotiate wooded or urban terrain (e.g. steps) to either approach the casualty or to extract him.

    Boy, I’m glad I’m not lying wounded somewhere waiting for these geniuses to come up with a trillion dollar solution to getting me home safe.

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