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Robot police dog patrolling NYC in video sparks 'Black Mirror' comparisons

Robot police dog patrolling NYC in video sparks 'Black Mirror' comparisons

4/14/2021 1:58:00 PM

Robot police dog patrolling NYC in video sparks ' Black Mirror ' comparisons

Dubbed the 'Digidog', the 70-pound machine is equipped with lights, cameras and two-way communication.

ABC7 Eyewitness Newsinterview in December, NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit Inspector, Frank Digiacomo, said:"This dog is going to save lives, it's going to protect people, it's going to protect officers and that's our goal. We can send it into complete darkness and get an idea of what's going on inside. In January an arm is coming out so it will be open doors and move objects."

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And the official Twitter account of the NYPD, @NYPDnews, echoed that sentiment in February, as it responded to articles about the Digidog.It posted:"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."

Aside from comparisons with, there are other objections to the deployment of the machine.People haveonline over the possibility of weaponizing the Digidog, as well as its potential use in surveillance as well as funding issues.Democratic politician, U.S. Representative

Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, tweeted her views on the Digidog in February.The House member from New York wrote:"Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools."

Earlier this month, when contacted byNewsweek, a press release from the NYPD's Office of the Deputy Commissioner (DCPI) claimed Digidog is still"currently in the test phase."Robotic dogs called Spot and built by Boston Dynamics are demonstrated during the Amazon Re:MARS conference on robotics and artificial intelligence at the Aria Hotel in Las Vegas, Nevada on June 4, 2019. New Yorkers compared the city to Robocop after seeing the NYPD Digidog out and about.

Read more: Newsweek »

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