updated 11/19/2008 AT 1:54 PM ET
•originally published 11/07/2008 AT 12:00 AM ET
In Russia’s quest to stay at the forefront of space technology, the country has made many technological advances in the past few decades. The latest move? A dog collar containing satellite-guided positioning equipment. No, Global Positioning System (GPS) technology is not new, but Russia is currently building its own satellite system, and one of its first test subjects is none other than President Vladimir Putin’s pooch, Koni. A black Labrador, Koni is currently sporting one of the collars, which tracks her every move (but goes on standby mode when she’s idle). “She’s wagging her tail, she likes it,” Putin said after watching Koni outside his residence on Moscow’s western outskirts in mid-October.
The satellite collars are not known to create any health risks, and a spokesman for People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals deemed the apparatus “probably harmless.” If all goes well with Koni’s collar, Russia will put 21-24 satellites into space over the next year to expand the reach of their GPS technology.