Cumbria Police’s dog unit is trialling helmet-mounted cameras on dogs to collect evidence during operations and give handlers live intel on the ground.
Police dogs are trained to assist the police with apprehending suspects, detecting drugs, searching for evidence, and providing crime deterrence and protection. Still, there needs to be more information between what the dogs see and the data provided to officers.
Most police officers today wear body-worn cameras, so Cumbria Police thought it would be a great idea to transfer the technology to their police dogs.
For this, they turned to the heliguy™ Dog Cam.
Trident K9 Tactical Helmet
The heliguy™ Dog Cam consists of a 3D-printed helmet made from impact-resistant Nylon 12. The helmet provides a mount for an 8MP Sony IMX219 sensor which can capture 1080p @ 30fps video, and has a separate wide-angle lens to mimic the eyesight of dogs.
Working with Cumbria Constabulary, heliguy™ created the additively manufactured housing for the camera’s components, which is printed on-demand using heliguy™’s in-house SLS 3D printers, eliminating the need for a supplier.
The Trident K9 Tactical Helmet is the first of its kind, built to move with the dog’s head for ultimate comfort while maintaining rigidity for the camera.
Cumbria Police has trialled the canine bodycams over several months. Insp Kim Brown from Cumbria Police’s dog unit said, “The camera will help support colleagues during operations allowing us to give them a real-time view of what the police dog is seeing and to gather evidence.”
“This allows officers to plan before entering a live incident to ensure the safety of the public, officers and police dog.”
Refining the head cam for operations
The camera system is a modified product with a larger battery offering a runtime of up to four hours, timestamping, and connectivity to police databases.
The K9 Tactical Helmet is made from Nylon 12, which has superior UV resistance to Nylon 11 and more rigidity. The transparent nylon lenses provide eye protection and can be swapped out for sun lenses in sunny conditions to improve the dog’s eyesight.
The total weight of the camera and the helmet is 1kg, so the dog barely feels it, and the nylon strap feels no different to a regular dog collar.
The Trident K9 Tactical Helmet is available in a regular and large fit for different breeds and uses internal spacer pads for a perfect fit. Flexible components are made from TPU, a rubber-like material that is easy to 3D print alongside nylon components.
Lead product designer Ross Embleton said: “We are delighted that the dog cam will help Cumbria Constabulary in its firearms operations.”
“We believe it is a powerful tool that can enhance the vital work conducted by our emergency services.”
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Quote source: BBC
Image credits: Heliguy