The Virtual Engineering Center from the University of Liverpool has created an educational dog inside the virtual reality that can be used to prevent dog bites. Dog Trust together with animal researchers from the University of Liverpool what is called a proof of concept in VR allowing people to experience what it's like to be in the presence of an aggressive dog.
This helps both young people and adults understand the situation involving a virtual agitated dog and helps them be trained in preventing attacks and unwanted incidents. This happens by teaching the participants how to correctly identify behavior and situations that can lead to a dog biting a person.
In the UK alone over 6,000 incidents of dog bites were recorded by hospitals. But the research estimates that there might be more than the actual recorded cases.
Dog Trust is dedicated to teaching owners of every age through this virtual technology how to handle situations that will instigate a dog bite. There is a great emphasis on observing animal behavior and stress level in order to correctly identify a threat.
Psychologists and animal behavior experts work with the team from VEC to make sure the depiction of the virtual canine is accurate in comparison to a live canine. This collaboration made sure what the virtual dog displays are truthful to what can actually happen. The environment as well is made sure to reflect a real-world scene.
In the VR as a person approaches the dog, it will display behaviors that are associated with the canine ladder of aggression. A dog, when it doesn't want to be approached displays actions stated in this ladder, like the head and body being lowered, teeth being shown, and of course growling.
According to the team leader Iain Cant, this was a project that they found really interesting and full of future potential. They plan to continue working on the project and focusing on enhancing the environment and making the dog even more realistic.
Source: YouTube via Lifestyle News
Also thanks to Science Daily for the original story.