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Tuesday, June 15, 2021

Digidog, a Robotic Dog Used by the Police, Stirs Privacy Concerns

The company, which calls the robotic canine Spot, started promoting it final June. Most of the patrons have been utility and power corporations, in addition to producers and building corporations, which use it to get into areas too harmful for people, mentioned Michael Perry, vp of business improvement at the company.

The robotic has been used to examine websites with hazardous materials. Early in the pandemic, it was used by well being care staff to speak with doubtlessly sick sufferers at hospital triage websites, Mr. Perry mentioned.

Most of the corporations rename the robotic after they purchase it, giving it names like Bolt and Mac and Cheese, he mentioned.

The Massachusetts State Police and the Honolulu Police Department are additionally utilizing it. Other police departments have referred to as the company to be taught extra about the robotic, which has a beginning value of about $74,000 and will value extra with further options, Mr. Perry mentioned.

The robotic canine, which has a 90-minute battery life and walks at a velocity of three miles per hour, was not designed to behave as a covert device of mass surveillance, Mr. Perry mentioned.

“It’s noisy and has flashing lights,” he mentioned. “It’s not something that is discreet.”

The use of robots that may be deployed into harmful conditions to maintain cops out of hurt’s manner may grow to be the norm.

In Dallas in 2016, the police ended a standoff with a gunman sought in the killings of 5 officers by blowing him up utilizing a robotic.

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