The New York Police Department has brought back Digidog, the four-legged Boston Dynamics robot along with a larger, rounder surveillance bot called K5 ASR, Mayor Eric Adams revealed at a press conference in Times Square on Tuesday.
The robot dogs, that inspired an episode of the dystopian TV series Black Mirror, will only be used during “hostage situations, bomb threats, counterterrorism situations, things where the best course of action will be to send a Digidog in first before a human being,” NYPD chief of department Jeff Maddrey told reporters, calling them a “life saving device.”
The dogs are equipped with cameras and two-way communications, but weaponizing them goes against Boston Dynamics’ terms of service. The city purchased two for $750,000, but “we used forfeiture money,” an NYPD officer reassured reporters.
“I believe that technology is here; we cannot be afraid of it,” Mayor Adams told the audience, explaining that his predecessor, Bill deBlasio, was wrong to retire the robot dog due to public outcry. “A few loud people were opposed to it and we took a step back – that’s not how I operate.”