via The New York Times

There is a new officer in New York City. The NYPD is now using Digidog, a robotic dog in multiple criminal cases, with the purpose of protecting the human officers and avoid exposing their lives to true dangers.

Jessica McRoie, a spokeswoman from the police department, recently confirmed that this robotic dog allows the NYPD to see its surroundings in real-time thanks to its device-mounted cameras and lights. Produced by Boston Dynamics, there are currently 2 types of robotic dogs: Pot Explorer and Spot Enterprise.

The first can drive on its four legs with remote control from a tablet, it can run about three miles as members of the NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit said. The Spot Enterprise is used in a fixed place basically to capture data. The robot dog has a rechargeable battery, weighs 70 pounds, and supports transport up to 30 pounds. It also has a two-way communication system, uses artificial intelligence (to perform autonomous missions), and has 2.4 GHZ WIFI.


Robotic Dogs Raise Concerns Among NYC Residents

The company that designed and sells the robot to the city security forces, assures that they currently don’t have the ability to carry weapons (like some drones) and they’re only for surveillance and prevention.

They’ve been spotted on the streets of Brooklyn, Queens, but more recently in the Bronx when it was used on East 227th Street, specifically in an apartment to determine that there was no one inside, according to a New York Times report. Needless to say, that raised some eyebrows within the community.

“This robot model is being tested to assess its capabilities against other models in use by our emergency service unit and bomb squad,” they reported from the department via Twitter.

Also, Democrat representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez expressed its disagreement by calling it “robotic surveillance” through its Twitter account referring to the New York Post article about the robot they called “Digidog”.

Artificial intelligence has been used for several years in law enforcement institutes as an example is the analysis of data based on individual variables to identify people who are considered to be more likely to commit a crime or cross-information to determine the location where the event may occur.