“Robot Dog” Among New Devices Unveiled for New York Police Department | Science and technology news
A “robot dog” is being added to New York’s crime-fighting arsenal along with other high-tech gadgets.
“Digidog is off the pound,” Mayor Eric Adams said as he unveiled the devices alongside police chiefs in Times Square.
He said he’s going ahead, although critics called it creepy when the city first made an attempt two years ago.
“A few vocal people objected and we took a step back,” the mayor said.
“I don’t do it that way. I’m working to see what’s best for the city.”
The 32 kg remote-controlled robotic dog is used in dangerous situations, such as hostage-taking.
“If you have a suspect barricaded, if you have someone who is in an armed building, instead of sending the police there, send Digidog there,” the mayor said.
A cone-headed autonomous security robot equipped with multiple cameras and sensors will also be deployed – initially overnight at Times Square Station – in a seven-month trial beginning in the summer.
It is initially accompanied by a human helper as it glides around at a leisurely 5 km/h.
It has already been used on some university campuses and in shopping malls to deter crime.
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The third new device that new York Cops are trying is the StarChase GPS attachment system, which can fire a tracking device on a suction cup at stolen cars to avoid police pursuit.
It can be mounted on a police car or fired from a handheld device. Officials will initially test it for 90 days.
Some have criticized the force for spending money on the technology, saying it could be better spent on basic services.
Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, also questioned the need for the kit.
“The NYPD turns bad sci-fi into horrible police work. New York deserves real security, not fake RoboCop,” he said.