The robot dog Spot, developed by Boston Dynamics – the company acquired by Hyundai Motors, will have an extendable arm attachment within the next year. One of the institutions that tested Spot with its new add-on was the New York Police Department (NYPD).
It is a tool in the hands of a police officer, as smart as a trained dog. Like an animal, the robot not only performs direct commands but also independently orients itself on the terrain, paving a route for itself. The police will use the robot for responding to emergency situations, as local news reporter ABC 7 NY reported.
New York police have repainted Spot from its characteristic yellow color and also given the robot dog a new name. The police version of Spot is blue and is known as “Digidog.” Since October of this year, the robot has been in use and has already taken part in a hostage rescue mission. The name “Digidog” is derived from the words “digital” and “dog,” which perfectly reflects its essence.
The remote-controlled robot dog weighs in at 70 pounds (31 kg), can travel at 5 km/h, make a 360-degree video. It can carry up to 13.5 kilograms, climb stairs, and move between obstacles. Spot has started to become available to private companies this year, and it’s not the first time we’ve seen it in law enforcement agencies – the Massachusetts State Police have been using Spot since the summer of 2019.
Digidog is still in its testing phases, so it isn’t officially out on the streets making arrests yet. The robot, which is likely to be preferred in actions that may endanger the personnel’s lives, such as opening doors or removing obstacles in raid-type activities by security forces, has also been tested in real-world situations.