New Yorkers were left shocked as they watched the NYPD’s new robot police dog assist with an arrest at an apartment building on Monday.
The $75,000 machine, called Digidog, was accompanying police officers as they responded to an incident at 344 East 28th Street in Manhattan. It’s unclear what type of incident police responded to, but it did appear that they sent the robot dog in first.
In one clip, officers are seen arriving to the complex and entering the building with the robot as someone in the background says: ‘Oh that sh*t moves better than a dog. Never seen nothing like that in my life.’
Another person is heard saying: ‘What the f**k?’
A short time later, police officers are seen in another clip escorting a handcuffed man out of the apartment building.
New Yorkers were left shocked as they watched the NYPD’s new robot police dog assist with an arrest at an apartment building on Monday
The robot dog and its team of operators are then seen walking out of the complex.
‘I know you f**king lying, what is this sh*t?’ a woman is heard saying in the background.
The videos were shared on Twitter on Monday and have since racked up more than 8 million views.
The sight of the robot dog left several people outraged that the city is choosing to spend money on this type of technology as opposed to investing in much needed funding for the homeless, food pantries and education.
‘Love that tax dollars goes to stuff like this instead of.. literally anything else,’ one person tweeted.
Another shared: ‘All I can think is now over policed neighborhoods are going to end up having to worry about robots eventually.’
‘We have enough empty homes and money to end the homelessness crisis and police are spending it on useless Black Mirror sh*t like this,’ another person wrote.
One user said: ‘Say what you want about police but you have to agree that the budget could be used in so many better things. Defund the police at Least.’
The sight of the robot dog left several people outraged that the city is choosing to spend money on this type of technology as opposed to investing in much needed funding for the homeless, food pantries and education
Some likened Digidog to the robot on Black Mirror (pictured)
‘A real dog is much cheaper and efficient, but instead they rely on technology which will fail and malfunction whereas a DOG can fix and correct itself!’ another added.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez was one of the robot dog’s first critics when she denounced the NYPD’s new crime-fighting machine last month.
The Democratic firebrand blasted Digidog in a succession of tweets, two days after the cyber hound was filmed responding to a home invasion in her home borough of the Bronx.
‘Shout out to everyone who fought against community advocates who demanded these resources go to investments like school counseling instead,’ she wrote.
‘Now robotic surveillance ground drones are being deployed for testing on low-income communities of color with under-resourced schools.’
Ocasio-Cortez then argued that police funding that allows for new technology like the Digidog would have better served the community if it had been allotted to programs for education or housing.
‘Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?’ she added in a follow-up tweet.
AOC was responding to a February incident in which residents in the Bronx were stopped dead in their tracks as the robotic dog trotted down East 227th Street.
The machine was accompanying police officers responding to a home invasion and barricade situation.
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.
Residents in the Bronx, New York stopped dead in their tracks as the four-legged robotic dog trotted down East 227th Street in February
The machine, called Digidog, accompanied officers responding to a home invasion and barricade situation in February
Digidog joined the NYPD last year. 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 machine was designed for emergency situations that would otherwise be too dangerous for police 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.
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.
The department started using Digidog in 2020 for 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.
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.’
The French army is the latest buyer of Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot.
Images of Spot with soldiers during military exercises were shared by France‘s military school, the Saint-Cyr last week.
The military school said Spot, and the ‘robotization of the battlefield’, is helping ‘raising students’ awareness of the challenges of tomorrow’.
Spot was released in June last year – and one of the first customers was Elon Musk for his firm SpaceX.