You won’t see this dog curled up by the fire, or wagging its tail. But it will find a bone, lots of them. LABRADOR (Light-weight Analyzer for Buried Remains And Decomposition Odor Recognition) is a hand-held device developed by Oak Ridge National Laboratory (ORNL) senior researcher and forensic expert Arpad A. Vass. The unit is capable of “sniffing” decomposing bodies buried in graves as deep as 3.5 feet below the surface, which is actually about a foot deeper than the average clandestine burial site.
LABRADOR can not only pick up the scent emitted from a dead body, it can analyze that odor and tell the operator how much of it is present, something its four-legged counterparts cannot do. This added information can aid the searcher in pinpointing the precise location of the remains.
Vass says his device can also be adapted for in other aspects of law enforcement, such as locating methamphetamine labs, explosives, and accelerants used in arson cases.
LABRADOR also has potential for military applications.
Arpad A. Vass
Vass’ device is a steal at less then $1,500. Unfortunately, there’s only one available. But, as soon as the legalities are ironed out I’m sure there’ll be a LABRADOR in every forensic team’s kennel.
Since LABRADOR is man-made (from common items right off the shelf) it’s basically maintenance free. No feeding, no watering, no bathing, no walks, and no mess to clean up. Well, that’s all fine and dandy, but can that bucket of bolts do this…
Now, which one would you rather have riding shotgun?