New York police had planned to evaluate Boston Dynamics’ Spot robot until August with a view to replacing robots currently used for mine clearance and hostage-taking. However, in the face of the scale of the criticisms, the NYPD had to resolve to do without its services.
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[EN VIDÉO] Boston Dynamics robot becomes a shepherd in New Zealand Rocos, a developer of software tools for robots, has just announced its partnership with Boston Dynamics. The software platform provides the Spot robot dog with the creation of missions for autonomous operation, as well as remote control and monitoring for precision agriculture.
End of the game for Digidog, the version of Spot leased to the New York police in a contract at 94,000 dollars (78,000 euros). Boston Dynamics’ robot dog is growing in popularity and has already been seen as a berger, medical aid or inspector at Chernobyl. However, when it was adopted by the New York police, criticism was raised.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was among the voices who rose against the use of drones to monitor disadvantaged neighborhoods. Police then defended themselves on Twitter, indicating that the robot was being tested to replace robots currently used by bomb squads and emergency services.
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
A use of the robot that does not pass to the New York public
The controversy escalated again during an April 12 intervention in Manhattan. Police came out of a building with a man armed with a pistol who was hiding in an apartment with a woman and her baby. They were followed by robot dog. He had not participated in the operation, remaining in the entrance when needed. However, the reproaches immediately resumed with more force on the use of the funds allocated to the police force and their treatment of the populations of the disadvantaged districts.
This will have been too many times for Digidog, which was to be tested until August. Police terminated the contract on April 22 amid widespread criticism from the general public, as well as an investigation by several members of city council into the cost of renting Digidog.
New York police robots worry
New York Police recently purchased the Spot robot from Boston Dynamics. After being filmed during an intervention during a hostage-taking, voices were raised on the social networks against its use.
Article ofEdward Back published on 03/02/2021
The Boston Dynamics robot is definitely everywhere. After inspecting the site of the Chernobyl nuclear power plant, Spot joined the New York Police Department (NYPD) under the name Digidog. This robot is particularly appreciated for its versatility. It moves autonomously thanks to artificial intelligence, and can walk on uneven ground, climb stairs, bypass obstacles, and can be guided from a distance.
Digitized ext a version of Spot, painted blue and equipped with cameras, lights, and a two-way communication system. The NYPD deployed him as part of a hostage-taking, where one of the two victims was able to escape from the apartment in question to raise the alarm. The robot entered and transmitted a live video of the scene, and thus confirmed that the premises were empty while avoiding endangering the lives of the police.
Digidog is deployed in a hostage situation in New York. © FreedomNewsTV
Are robots a danger for society?
The adoption of this robot is not trivial, since the base price is 74,500 dollars (62,000 euros). On Twitter, politician Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez rose up against the fact that this robot is being tested in disadvantaged neighborhoods where funding for education, health or even housing should be a priority. Other voices, notably on Twitter, are speaking out against the dangers posed by bots, which could be used to monitor the population and even be equipped with taser. Daniel Valls of FreedomNewsTV filmed the robot in action and exclaimed ” this thing gives goosebumps ».
Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead.
Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools ???????? https://t.co/ZqKtnexctb
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) February 25, 2021
Jay Stanley, of the American Civil Liberties Union (Aclu), said using a robot to do police work could have consequences for stigma, mobile surveillance, hacking and life. private. He is also concerned that Digidog could be combined with other technologies to become a weapon. However, it seems inevitable that this kind of robot will be used more and more in the future, especially when it prevents loss of life.
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