Location: NEAR COMBAT OUTPOST OUELLETTE, AF (Photo: Cpl. Jesse Johnson)


U.S. Marines with 2nd Platoon, Company L, Battalion Landing Team 3/8, Regimental Combat Team 8, walk down a road while on a security patrol through the Green Zone informing locals about an upcoming community meeting near Combat Outpost Ouellette, Helmand province, Afghanistan, April 8, 2011. Elements of the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit deployed to Afghanistan to provide regional security in Helmand province in support of the International Security Assistance Force. 


Potomac Institute Fellow, Lisa Albuquerque, Receives Patent Approval for Command and Control System For Integrated Human-Canine-Robot Interaction


Potomac Institute Fellow Lisa Albuquerque recently received notice from the US Patent and Trademark Office that her patent, “System, Apparatus and Method of Training Dogs to Detect Complex Hazardous Substances”, has been approved. This idea originated from a video in which an Improvised Explosives Device (IED) Detection Dog (IDD) team (Infantry Marine and IED “hunting” Labrador retriever) and an Explosives Ordnance Disposal (EOD) robotics team were training together. It became apparent to Ms. Albuquerque that the dog was capable of locating the hidden explosives within minutes, while the maneuverability of the robot was such that it took a great deal of time and exposure to get the robot to the location where the IED was located. 


Working with Space and Naval Warfare Systems Command (SPAWAR) Systems Center Pacific, Ms. Albuquerque and her co-inventors were able to re-purpose existing technology to create a control system for integrated human-trained animal- robot interaction. The dog’s path to the IED was made available to the unmanned robotic vehicle including an optimal path leading the selected robotic vehicle to the detected IED in order for the robotic vehicle to neutralize the detected IED, while also providing the EOD operator with close-up video of the device provided by a dog-mounted camera feed. This system also allows for asynchronous operations by the EOD technician hours after the original detection is made and under the cover of darkness. Ms. Albuquerque is one of five inventors for patent #9031714. 


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