Working dogs have improved the lives of thousands of people throughout history. However, communication between human and canine partners is currently limited. The main goal of the FIDO project is to research fundamental aspects of wearable technologies to support communication between working dogs and their handlers. In this study, the FIDO team investigated on-body interfaces for dogs in the form of wearable technology integrated into assistance dog vests. We created five different sensors that dogs could activate based on natural dog behaviors such as biting, tugging, and nose touches. We then tested the sensors on-body with eight dogs previously trained for a variety of occupations and compared their effectiveness in several dimensions. We were able to demonstrate that it is possible to create wearable sensors that dogs can reliably activate on command, and to determine cognitive and physical factors that affect dogs’ success with body–worn interaction technology.
This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.
Buy single article
Instant access to the full article PDF.
Tax calculation will be finalised during checkout.
Arduino Uno. http://arduino.cc/en/Main/arduinoBoardUno, 2014
Canine Companions for Independence. www.cci.org
Coren Stanley (1994) The intelligence of dogs: a guide to the thoughts, emotions, and inner lives of our Canine Companions. Free Press, Simon and Schuster, New York
FSR 400 Data Sheet: FSR 400 series round force sensing resistor. http://dlnmh9ip6v2uc.cloudfront.net/datasheets/Sensors/ForceFlex/2010-10-26-DataSheet-FSR400-Layout2.pdf
History of Guide Dogs International Guide Dog Federation. www.igdf.org.uk/about-us/facts-and-figures/history-of-guide-dogs/
Hu F, Silver D, Trudel A (2007) Lonely Dog@Home. In: The proceedings of the conference on Web intelligence and intelligent agent technology workshops, pp 333–337
Jackson MM, Zeagler C, Valentin G, Martin A, Martin V, Delawalla A, Blount W, Eiring S, Hollis R, Kshirsagar Y, Starner T (2013) FIDO—Facilitating interactions for dogs with occupations: wearable dog-activated interfaces. In: International symposium on wearable interfaces (ISWC’13), Zurich, Switzerland, Sept 9–12, 2013
Lee SP, Cheok AD, James TKS (2006) A mobile pet wearable computer and mixed reality system for human–poultry interaction through the internet. Pers Ubiquit Comput 10:301–317
Mancini C, van der Linden J, Bryan J, Stuart A (2012) Exploring interspecies sensemaking: dog tracking semiotics and multispecies ethnography. In: Proceedings of the 2012 ACM conference on ubiquitous computing
Mankoff D, Dey A, Mankoff J, Mankoff K (2005) Supporting interspecies social awareness: using peripheral displays for distributed pack awareness. In: Proceedings of the UIST, ACM Press
Noz F, An J (2011) Cat cat revolution: an interspecies gaming experience. In: Proceedings of the CHI’11, ACM Press
Paldanius M, Karkkainen T, Vaananen-Vainio-Mattila K, Juhlin O, Hakkila J (2011) Communication technology for human–dog interaction: exploration of dog owners’ experiences and expectations. In: Proceedings of the CHI 2011
Pavlov IP (1927) Conditional reflexes. Dover, New York
Pryor K (2009) Reaching the animal mind. Scribner, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York
Resner BI (2001) Rover@home: computer mediated remote interaction between humans and dogs. (Master’s Thesis), Massachusetts Institute of Technology
Savage J, Sanchez-Guzman RA, Mayol-Cuevas W, Arce L, Hernandez A, Brier L, Lopez G (2000) Animal–machine interfaces. In: Proceedings of the 4th international symposium on wearable computing, IEEE
Skinner BF (1938) The behavior of organisms: an experimental analysis. Appleton-Century, Oxford
The Seeing Eye. http://www.seeingeye.org/
Weilenmann A, Juhlin O (2011) Understanding people and animals: the use of a positioning system in ordinary human–canine interaction. In: Proceedings of the SIGCHI conference on human factors in computing systems
Wingrave CA, Rose J, Langston T, LaViola JJ (2010) Early explorations of CAT: Canine amusement and training. In: Extended Abstracts of CHI’10, ACM Press, pp 2661–2670
Young J, Young N, Greenberg S, Sharlin E (2007) Feline fun park: a distributed tangible interface for pets and owners. In: Video proceedings of pervasive’07
This work was funded by the National Science Foundation under Grant IIS-1320690. We also received a seed grant from the Georgia Tech GVU Center. We would like to express our appreciation to Margo Gathright-Dietrich, Candace Atchison, Peggy Donato, Ninette Franz, and Alyssa Eidbo for their time and assistance in testing the sensors. We also thank Paul Mundell, Director of Canine Programs at Canine Companions for Independence, for his advice about requirements for assistance dogs.
About this article
Cite this article
Jackson, M.M., Valentin, G., Freil, L. et al. FIDO—Facilitating interactions for dogs with occupations: wearable communication interfaces for working dogs. Pers Ubiquit Comput 19, 155–173 (2015). https://doi.org/10.1007/s00779-014-0817-9
- Wearable technology
- Animal–computer interaction
- Assistance dogs