Residents in the Bronx, New York stopped dead in their tracks as a four-legged robotic dog trotted down East 227th Street Tuesday.
The machine, called Digidog, was accompanying human officers responding to a home invasion and barricade situation.
Digidog joined the New York Police Department last year, which changed the machine’s yellow color to blue and black and gave it a new name – it was initially named ‘Spot’ by its creators Boston Dynamics.
The robotic dog, according to reports, was sent inside a building in the Bronx to climb stairs and investigate an area for a hostage situation – but no one was found.
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Residents in the Bronx, New York stopped dead in their tracks as a four-legged robotic dog trotted down East 227th Street Tuesday
The videographer, Daniel Valls of FreedomNews.tv, said the dog responded to a home invasion and barricaded situation on East 227th Street near White Plains Road in Wakefield.
Digidog was designed for emergency situations that would otherwise be too dangerous for human officers.
The robot is fitted with cameras to search an area and send back real-time footage and is powered by artificial intelligence to navigate on its own.
Members of the NYPD’s Technical Assistance Response Unit told ABC 7 in December that the robot weighs 70 pounds, can run about three-and-a-half miles per hour and climb over obstacles.
The machine, called Digidog, was accompanying human officers responding to a home invasion and barricade situation
Digidog joined the New York Police Department last year,
It is also capable of two-way communication, for example, if an officer needs to talk with a suspect they are able to without getting in harm’s way.
Digidog originated from Boston Dynamics, which initially named the machine ‘Spot.’
However, NYPD gave the robot a new paint job and name before unleashing into the city to combat crime.
The department has used Digidog in previous incidents in Brooklyn and Queens.
In October 2020, there was a shooting in Brooklyn and the robot was used to investigate a basement where witnesses said the gunman was hiding.
The videographer, Daniel Valls of FreedomNews.tv, said the dog responded to a home invasion and barricaded situation on East 227th Street near White Plains Road in Wakefield
The robot is fitted with cameras to search an area and send back real-time footage and is powered by artificial intelligence to navigate on its own
And later in Queens, Digidog came in handy at a tense scene where two armed men were holding five hostages in a home.
NYPD Technical Assistance Response Unit Inspector Frank Digiacomo told ABC 7: ‘People wanted food so we strapped food onto it and sent it into the location.’
While the NYPD is using the robot dog to fight crime, a prankster is using it wreak havoc in an art gallery.
Members of the public will be able to take remote control of an armed, paintball-firing robotic dog in an art gallery.
Quirky, chaos-loving, New York-based start-up MSCHF (pronounced ‘mischief’) are behind the campaign, which highlights the risk of such machines being misused.
Spot’s ‘rampage’ will begin at 13:00 EST (18:00 GMT) on February 24 and every two minutes the site will hand over control to a different smartphone user.
The event is being held in a small art gallery constructed in MSCHF’s Brooklyn offices — one populated by paintings, vases, boxes and the firm’s past products.
Boston Dynamics have criticized MSCHF’s paintball-firing application of their robot — calling it a ‘spectacle’ that ‘fundamentally misrepresents’ Spot.
It is also capable of two-way communication, for example, if an officer needs to talk with a suspect they are able to without getting in harm’s way
While the NYPD is using the robot dog to fight crime, a prankster is using it wreak havoc in an art gallery. Members of the public will be able to take remote control of an armed, paintball-firing robotic dog in an art gallery
‘We’ve put a Spot in an art gallery, mounted it with a .68cal paintball gun, and given the internet the ability to control it,’ MSCHF wrote on their website.
‘We’re livestreaming Spot as it frolics and destroys the gallery around it.’
‘Spot’s Rampage is piloted by YOU! Spot is remote-controlled over the internet, and we will select random viewers to take the wheel.’
The intent of the start-up’s latest stunt appears to be to draw attention to the potential for robots like Spot to be misused in the future.
‘When killer robots come to America they will be wrapped in fur, carrying a ball. Spot is Rob Rhinehart’s ideal pet: it never s***s,’ the Spot’s Rampage website declares.
(Rhinehart is the man behind the food-replacement drink Soylent, who has in interviews expressed resentment about having to eat at all.)
‘Good Boy, Spot! Everyone in this world takes one look at cute little Spot and knows: this thing will definitely be used by police and the military to murder people,’ the webpage continues.
WHAT IS BOSTON DYNAMICS’ SPOT MINI ROBO-DOG?
Boston Dynamics first showed off SpotMini, the most advanced robot dog ever created, in a video posted in November 2017.
The firm, best known for Atlas, its 5 foot 9 (1.7 metre) humanoid robot, has revealed a new ‘lightweight’ version of its robot Spot Mini.
The robotic canine was shown trotting around a yard, with the promise that more information from the notoriously secretive firm is ‘coming soon’.
‘SpotMini is a small four-legged robot that comfortably fits in an office or home’ the firm says on its website.
It weighs 25 kg (55 lb), or 30 kg (66 lb) when you include the robotic arm.
SpotMini is all-electric and can go for about 90 minutes on a charge, depending on what it is doing, the firm says, boasting ‘SpotMini is the quietest robot we have built.’
SpotMini was first unveiled in 2016, and a previous version of the mini version of spot with a strange extendable neck has been shown off helping around the house.
In the firm’s previous video, the robot is shown walking out of the firm’s HQ and into what appears to be a home.
There, it helps load a dishwasher and carries a can to the trash.
It also at one point encounters a dropped banana skin and falls dramatically – but uses its extendable neck to push itself back up.
‘SpotMini is one of the quietest robots we have ever built, the firm says, due to its electric motors.
‘It has a variety of sensors, including depth cameras, a solid state gyro (IMU) and proprioception sensors in the limbs.
‘These sensors help with navigation and mobile manipulation.
‘SpotMini performs some tasks autonomously, but often uses a human for high-level guidance.’