New Project Lets Kids Play Dog for a Day

Lori Ennis
by Lori Ennis
There’s some pretty cool stuff that’ll be going on at the University of Colorado’s Alliance for Technology, Learning and Society Institute (ATLAS), thanks to a new $750,000 grant.

‘Tis the time of technology, and researchers at the University of Colorado’s ATLAS Institute are about to embark on some pretty cool and trendsetting projects, funded by the Cyber Learning Program through the National Science Foundation.

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The grant will allow the project members to build wearable technology that is aimed to give humans experience through a pet’s perspective. It will also bring kids into the equation, making science more fun and showing kids how cool being ‘scientists’ can be.

Dr.Ben Shapiro is a University of Colorado computer science professor and says that the project will prove that scientists are cool people who investigate their curiosities with passion and empathy, and not just a bunch of socially awkward people who don’t live much outside their labs.

The grant will take the project through 2020, and Shapiro will join colleagues Michael Eisenberg and Joseph Pulman, along with other faculty members and graduate students part of the ATLAS Institute to design things like earmuffs that can pick up frequencies only dogs can hear. This will help illustrate why our dogs are really barking at things, even though we can’t hear or see them, and don’t understand.

They also plan to incorporate virtual reality so that kids can see what dog’s vision might be like. It is commonly thought that dogs only see in blacks and whites, but Shapiro says that they can see in a narrow color spectrum–much more narrow than we can see.

Related: Black Dog Syndrome: Can People Be Color Blind When It Comes To Dogs?

The team will also start a camp where kids and teachers will learn how to create these technologies and incorporate them in scientific experiments of their own. Shapiro says the prototypes are in process now, and he hopes the workshops and camps will begin in the spring. He is hopeful that it will allow kids to take their intrinsic curiosities about animals and use that to learn how to branch out to all sciences.

Looks like pets will no longer lead secret lives, huh?!

[Source: DailyCamera]

Lori Ennis
Lori Ennis

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