Multi-purpose canine handlers with U.S. Marine Corps Forces, Special Operations Command, used a robotic canine training dummy for the first time, during hands-on medical training at Stone Bay on Marine Corps Base Camp Lejeune, N.C., Nov. 30 and Dec. 1.
The simulator, one of two prototypes being developed between U.S. Special Operations Command and industry partners, challenged handlers and medical staff with the wide range of scenarios available through its realistic reactions to injuries and treatments.
The development of this new “robot dog” came from SOCOM’s desire to improve the current medical training capabilities of MPC handlers. Currently, the special operations forces community uses stuffed dogs, called critical-care jerry dogs, to train and refine medical techniques and procedures.
The static nature of the jerry dogs limit the instructors’ ability to evaluate MPC handlers’ and medical team members’ capabilities to properly perform medical aid on canines. The service members also heavily rely on force veterinarians to provide scenarios and injury descriptions, which limits training opportunities to garrison training environments due to unavailability of veterinarians in a deployed environment.