NYPD to return it’s robotic dog after facing heavy backlash
‘Digidog’, a futuristic four-legged robotic tool designed by US firm Boston Dynamics would be returned by the New York Police Department after facing heavy backlash and criticism for it. Even though inspector Frank Digiacomo of the department’s technical Assistance Respond Unit revealed how he believed that the device would save the lives of people and police officers, many viewed it as a symbol of aggressive policing and ‘dystopian technology ‘ by the law enforcement authorities.
An NYC representative, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortex even tweeted, “now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools”, in February.
The outcry for discontinuing the machine got heated because of two primary events. The notoriety it gained was a result of it being deployed as a part of a home invasion in the Bronx and when officers used it at a public housing building in Manhattan. The device was thus dismissed as being a cruel tool and a wasteful investment being used by the authorities to dominate and terrorize the financially weaker communities.
However, the department had no opposition regarding the technological development, viewing it as a useful discovery, it gave a statement in February, “The NYPD has been using robots since the 1970s to save lives in hostage situations & hazmat incidents. This model of the robot is being tested to evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our emergency service unit and bomb squad.”