It's been known for months that the New York Police Department was working with a robot dog. In fact, in late October the robot helped stop a suspect in Brooklyn, although it is not known exactly what he did.

More information on what it's like is now known, as, according to a new ABC7 report, the robot dog will receive a special robotic arm to open doors and move objects.

Frank Digiacomo, the inspector of the NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit, commented:

This dog will save lives, protect people and protect officers, and that's our goal.

What the robot dog looks like

As you can see in the video, it's the famous Spot, Boston Dynamics dog, but with some modified things:

It is a report from local television that shows the robot with its maximum speed of 5 km/h, video capacity of 360 degrees and the possibility to carry up to 13 kg.

The robot is operated by remote control and can also climb stairs.

Spot has begun to become available to private companies this year, and it's not the first time we've seen it in the police force: Massachusetts State Police have been using Spot since the summer of 2019.

Population opinion

There are opinions of all kinds, of course, but it draws attention to that of anti-robot militarization groups, which have condemned the use of robot dogs by the police as an unnecessary form of escalation at a particularly sensitive time for American civil rights.

At a time when society is asking agents to withdraw and reduce violence against black communities, seeing this level of technology deployed is shocking and completely inhumane. The New York Police Department should not be allowed a license to experiment with New Yorkers with technologies not proven in criminal justice where accidents and unexpected behaviour are warranted.

Everyone believes that the police should provide a privacy and usage policy for any newly acquired surveillance system, and the robot dog should be no different.

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