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Agility Equipment Used to Document Dog Movement

A new program at the University of Bath seeks to catalog animal movement.

If you're a fan of watching animated dogs in movies, TV shows and video games, you'll have noticed that the technology recreating "live" animal movement has progressed over the years to look more and more realistic, but still isn't quite "there" yet. A new program through the University of Bath is looking to create an entire database of video data of movement from a variety of dog breeds in order to provide more accurate depiction of animal movement.

The Centre for Analysis of Motion, Entertainment Research & Applications (CAMERA) uses motion-capture techniques to record the movement of live animals. A special coat with small "markers" on the surface captures the 3D movement of the animal as data for the computer. This data is then used to "teach" the computers to replace how it understands the physical movement of humans with that of dogs. Eventually they intend to add cats and other animals to the database.

The dogs in the first set of data capture are all taken from the local animal shelter and are a variety of sizes and breeds and the university plans to expand this to all breeds in the future.

During the capture sessions, the dogs are asked to do a variety of familiar movements, such as walking, lying down, and sitting, and additional movements are captured by the dogs going through agility equipment! Watch the videos below:

Photo: University of Bath


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