CAT gives Rescue Teams a Dog’s Eye-view of the Path to Trapped Victims

Now even dogs go high-tech! Information Technology Association of Canada (ITAC) announced a device that could help dogs save the lives of people trapped under the rubble of collapsed buildings.

Ryerson University’s Computer science professor – Alex Ferworn received this year’s Community IT Hero Award. Ferworn and his team developed the first WiFi-enabled low-light / infrared camera pack which can be carried by search and rescue dogs. Images captured by the camera can be transmitted back to handlers and rescue workers via ruggedized WiFi networks.

Ironically the rescue device is called CAT (Canine Augmented Technology). 🙂


With the help of CAT, human rescuers can monitor the sound and video beamed wirelessly from cameras and microphones worn by the dogs while searching through the debris from fires or earthquakes.

Dog’s eye-view

CAT system consists of:

  • Twin infrared cameras
  • Headlights
  • A microphone
  • A small computer
  • A Wi-Fi node
  • A server attached to a harness worn by the dog

The headlights automatically turn on in the dark and the harness can break away if the dog becomes trapped.

With the help of CAT, health workers can provide fast and accurate diagnosis and save more lives.

(Source: ITAC release)

(Image credit: nCart)