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Boston Dynamics’ robodog hit the streets with the NYPD and people aren’t happy

Black Mirror, anyone?

boston dynamics spot mini
Image: Boston Dynamics

Boston Dynamics has been in the robot space for years and the company also works with law enforcement and military to provide them with some of its technology – including the robodog, Spot.

Now, a new video on Twitter shows the NYPD using Spot on patrol and, rightfully so, people are pretty uneasy about the whole thing. In the video, you can see police escorting out a person in handcuffs, and then moments later, more police come out with Spot taking the lead.

Spot and company head in a different direction, but as others have pointed out, it’s hard to deny the Black Mirror feel of everything. Some of the comments in the Twitter thread include people stating they wished their tax money didn’t go to the police, and others noted how threatening the whole event felt.

The NYPD has used one of Boston Dynamics’ robots before, to assess a hostage situation in the Bronx. The French army is also testing out Spot in combat scenarios.

Futurism notes that Boston Dynamics is trying to quietly distance itself from military and police use, even though it is still obviously fine with selling the robots to them. The outlet also notes that the company’s terms of service “forbid the robot dog from being used to ‘to harm or intimidate any person or animal, as a weapon, or to enable any weapon.'”

Not really sure how that lines up with prancing your robot around the general public, but here we are.

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