Boston Dynamics' robot police dog has been dropped by the New York Police Department (NYPD), along with its contract being severed due to "aggressive tactics" of the device. Previously, the SpotMini robot dog has been criticized for being a scary-looking robot that resembles a "headless dog" which is mechanical and "robotic."
And while Boston Dynamics has revealed themselves and created a new design for the robot dog, it just was not enough for people to buy it, especially as it costs more than $74,000, the same price as a Tesla Model S. Perhaps households would not have enough use for the robot dogs as of now, especially as it is not yet in-demand for the home environment.
This led for the device to be adapted to industrial, corporate, and public service settings, with different clients like the Alberta Shell Refinery, and as a sheepherder in New Zealand. These settings are perfect for SpotMini and Boston Dynamics' tech, with its popularity leading to its use for the boys in blue's (police) public services.
NYPD's Robot Police Dog: Aggressive Tactics?
Amidst the pandemic season, the police have enforced a new sheriff in town, and they are inanimate objects that are controlled by technology, computers, and AI to function. NYPD's enlistment of the Boston Dynamics' robot police dog, SpotMini, has been nicknamed "Digidog" by the police and has been the center of criticism.
According to CNet, it was initially claimed by the NYPD that this technology can be used or deployed to areas with complete darkness and get a good view of what is going on inside. This means that using the Digidog can help the police gather intel on places or situations that remain unknown, and would not risk any injuries or fatalities among its ranks.
However, while it was not used for entering deep into enemy territory, it was used by the NYPD to survey different communities in New York, where it was criticized by its representative, Alexandra Ocasio-Cortez. Here, the NYPD has defended its use of the robot, saying that they have been using tech (robots) since the 70s for bombing and hazmat situations.
Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2021
NYPD Drops Boston Dynamics' Tech
The NYPD has been using robots since the 1970's to save lives in hostage situations & hazmat incidents. This model of robot is being tested to evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our Emergency Service Unit and Bomb Squad. https://t.co/134Xl0ezox— NYPD NEWS (@NYPDnews) February 25, 2021
Shortly after the tweet by AOC last February, things have been shaky for the NYPD, and the controversies that surrounded the use of Digidog or Boston Dynamics' SpotMini has been unfavorable. The New York police have dropped the $94,000 leasing contract with Boston Dynamics last Thursday, Apr. 22, amidst the backlash against it.
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Written by Isaiah Richard