The New York Police Department (NYPD) has announced it will be introducing robot dogs back onto the streets of New York despite a negative response from the public to its first release in April 2021.
The ‘Digidog’, produced by Massachusetts based Boston Dynamics, looks unsettlingly similar to a fictional killer robot.
The launch of the Digidog was considered an unnecessary development and was viewed by the public as a form of aggressive policing.
The NYPD has dismissed past failures and is relaunching the robot dogs onto the streets to assess hazardous situations and help conduct automated patrols in confined areas.
The news comes as the robotics industry continues to grow significantly, with research firm GlobalData predicting the industrial robotics market will be worth $352bn by 2030.
The robot dogs will be used in life-threatening situations after criticism from politicians like Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, who claimed it was being deployed in low-income communities for surveillance purposes.
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According to GlobalData: “One of the most important tasks ahead for policymakers will be to harness the economic benefits of robotics while minimising the negative social impacts.”
NYC police commissioner Keechant Sewell said during a press conference that the NYPD’s rollout of these technologies will be “transparent, consistent, and always done in collaboration with the people that we serve.”