Government to brief industry on dog-wearable electronics next week in Menlo Park, Calif.
MENLO PARK, Calif., 10 June 2016. U.S. government researchers will brief industry June 15 on the K9 Wearable Technologies project to equip specially trained dogs with rugged wearable electronics to gather field intelligence and monitor the health of the canines when they work in harsh environments.
Officials of U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Science and Technology Directorate will conduct K9 Wearable Technologies industry briefings from 8:30 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. on 15 June 2016 at SRI International, 333 Ravenswood Ave., in Menlo Park, Calif.
DHS experts are asking industry for ideas and technologies to help monitor the health and welfare of dogs without degrade the animal's mobility or performance.
Specifically, DHS experts are interested in dog-wearable electronics that can record and transmit canine vital signs; retrieve, store, and analyze vital sign data; and maintain and update canine sensor components.
Border-patrol dogs have become the best tool available to detect and apprehend persons attempting entry to organize, incite, and carry out acts of terrorism, DHS officials say. Dogs also are useful in helping agents to detect and seize illegal drugs and other contraband at border crossings.
Wearable health-monitoring sensors would be important because border-patrol dogs must work quickly, under pressure, in varied climates. Wearable technologies to diagnose illness and measure performance have become commonplace for human wearers. Now DHS wants to do the same for dogs.
Developing dog-wearable electronics, however, is easier said than done. Maintaining sufficient skin contact on dogs may be difficult, for example, and wearable devices could be uncomfortable or hinder the animal's performance.
Vest-worn devices, moreover, may overheat dogs, and sometimes the animals may destroy the wearable devices by chewing. Digital data storage also may be necessary for those times when the dog moves out of range of the handler. Battery life, of course, is a big concern.
Those who would like to attend the K9 Wearable Technologies industry briefings should register online at https://www.regonline.com/builder/site/Default.aspx?EventID=1853752& no later than 7 p.m. pacific time on Monday, 13 June 2016. Onside registration will be available the day of the event starting at 8:30 a.m.
More information is online at https://www.fbo.gov/spg/DHS/OCPO/DHS-OCPO/DHS-SVIP-CBP2016/listing.html.