Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations

Dogs And Robots Share NIST Special Test Arena

Date:
April 21, 2005
Source:
National Institute of Standards and Technology
Summary:
Bomb and drug sniffing dogs are regular visitors to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for training, not for emergency work. Every month as many as 10 to 20 dogs and their handlers from federal agencies as well as from local county and municipal police departments visit the arenas that NIST uses to test and evaluate urban search and rescue and explosive ordnance disposal robots.

Police Officer Michael Millsaps Jr. of the Amtrak Police Department rewards his dog Bak for finding a hidden gun under debris at the NIST reference test arena for urban search and rescue and explosive ordnance disposal robots. The white transmitters worn by both Millsaps and Bak can be used to track and record their movements as they proceed through the arena. Similar transmitters are attached to rescue robots and are used to analyze searching performance.
Credit: Photo by Gail Porter/NIST

Bomb and drug sniffing dogs are regular visitors to the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) for training, not for emergency work. Every month as many as 10 to 20 dogs and their handlers from federal agencies as well as from local county and municipal police departments visit the arenas that NIST uses to test and evaluate urban search and rescue and explosive ordnance disposal robots.

The arenas represent a building in various stages of collapse and provide a robot testing site for both pre- and post-disaster scenarios. The jumble of concrete collapsed walls and fallen debris also offers just the right challenge to sharpen the skills of the dogs who hunt for hidden drugs or patrol potential terrorist targets.

Small samples of explosive materials or narcotics are first hidden amid the rubble. Then individual dogs, under the watchful eyes of their handlers who are in a sense in training as well, seek out firearms, ammunition, explosives and chemical compounds used to build explosives or drugs such as cocaine or heroin. Once the dog finds the "hide," he or she sits silently, at attention, in front of the cache.

The individual dogs are trained in locating drugs or explosives, not both. Handlers must know why a dog is sitting, and in a real situation whether the find is safe to pick up. Success brings a shout of "That's my Boy," a rough, affectionate head tussle, a brief pulling match over a toy with the handler, and then the hunt goes on until all the hidden explosives or drugs are found.

"A dog just wants to play," said Sergeant Rick Hawkins of the NIH Police Department who coordinates the multi-agency K-9 visits to NIST. "When we go home we look at our paycheck. A dog has his toy and that's what he works for." Hawkins' six-year-old black Labrador, Flyer, is trained to find narcotics.

The police trainers appreciate having a unique indoor facility that challenges the dogs' skills and that is available on a regular basis. At the same time, the NIST robotics experts benefit from observing police techniques for systematically searching for explosives.

In April, NIST experts helped with the 2005 RoboCup German Open international competition in Paderborn, Germany, that used a newly constructed version of the NIST arenas to test the performance of the latest rescue robots.

###

A brief video describing the training of both dogs and robots at the NIST arena is available at: http://realex.nist.gov:8080/ramgen/robot2.smi. (Requires RealPlayer)


Story Source:

The above story is based on materials provided by National Institute of Standards and Technology. Note: Materials may be edited for content and length.


Cite This Page:

National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Dogs And Robots Share NIST Special Test Arena." ScienceDaily. ScienceDaily, 21 April 2005. <www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421204936.htm>.
National Institute of Standards and Technology. (2005, April 21). Dogs And Robots Share NIST Special Test Arena. ScienceDaily. Retrieved September 15, 2014 from www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421204936.htm
National Institute of Standards and Technology. "Dogs And Robots Share NIST Special Test Arena." ScienceDaily. www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2005/04/050421204936.htm (accessed September 15, 2014).

Share This



More Plants & Animals News

Monday, September 15, 2014

Featured Research

from universities, journals, and other organizations


Featured Videos

from AP, Reuters, AFP, and other news services

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Conservationists Face Uphill PR Battle With New Shark Rules

Newsy (Sep. 14, 2014) New conservation measures for shark fishing face an uphill PR battle in the fight to slow shark extinction. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Shocker: Journalists Are Utterly Addicted To Coffee

Newsy (Sep. 13, 2014) A U.K. survey found that journalists consumed the most amount of coffee, but that's only the tip of the coffee-related statistics iceberg. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com
Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Lion Cubs the Pride of San Diego Zoo

Reuters - US Online Video (Sep. 13, 2014) Roars of excitement as a proud lioness shows off her four cubs at the San Diego Zoo Safari Park. Jillian Kitchener reports. Video provided by Reuters
Powered by NewsLook.com
'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

'Magic Mushrooms' Could Help Smokers Quit

Newsy (Sep. 11, 2014) In a small study, researchers found that the majority of long-time smokers quit after taking psilocybin pills and undergoing therapy sessions. Video provided by Newsy
Powered by NewsLook.com

Search ScienceDaily

Number of stories in archives: 140,361

Find with keyword(s):
Enter a keyword or phrase to search ScienceDaily for related topics and research stories.

Save/Print:
Share:

Breaking News:
from the past week

In Other News

... from NewsDaily.com

Science News

Health News

Environment News

Technology News



Save/Print:
Share:

Free Subscriptions


Get the latest science news with ScienceDaily's free email newsletters, updated daily and weekly. Or view hourly updated newsfeeds in your RSS reader:

Get Social & Mobile


Keep up to date with the latest news from ScienceDaily via social networks and mobile apps:

Have Feedback?


Tell us what you think of ScienceDaily -- we welcome both positive and negative comments. Have any problems using the site? Questions?
Mobile: iPhone Android Web
Follow: Facebook Twitter Google+
Subscribe: RSS Feeds Email Newsletters
Latest Headlines Health & Medicine Mind & Brain Space & Time Matter & Energy Computers & Math Plants & Animals Earth & Climate Fossils & Ruins