Boston Dynamics’ Robodogs Join US Police’s Bomb Squad

Harin - Nov 30, 2019


Boston Dynamics’ Robodogs Join US Police’s Bomb Squad

Recently, in a video posted on Facebook from Boston Dynamics, Spot can be seen joining the police force, working for a bomb squad.

At the moment, detection dogs can take on different tasks like sniffing, detecting bombs, etc. However, with the fast development of technology, robotic dogs can do even more than that, just take a look at the robodog Spot of Boston Dynamics.

Boston Dynamics was originally a division of MIT (the Massachusetts Institute of Technology before becoming a startup in 1992. This company is now owned by Softbank after being sold by Google in 2017.

The company mainly researches special robotic models that have similar functions to humans. Boston Dynamics have many unique products such as humanoid robots that can jump, dance or jump over obstacles. Its latest invention is the robodog called Spot.

Recently, in a video posted on Facebook from Boston Dynamics, Spot can be seen working for a bomb squad. However, the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) is against this action, stating that the use of versatile robots on the battlefield can be dangerous.

Boston-Dynamics-Spot-bomb-squad
Recently, in a video posted on Facebook from Boston Dynamics, Spot can be seen working for a bomb squad.

ACLU has expressed its interest in this robot and is figuring out how authorities and organizations could make use of this robot.

Accordingly, the police are renting this robodog Spot for around 90 days (from August to November) to evaluate its ability in supporting law enforcement, especially in dangerous situations.

Back in September, Boston Dynamics announced that there had been organizations renting this robot but didn’t reveal the rental price.

However, Kade Crockford, Director of Massachusetts liberal technology program, this action of Boston Dynamics is lack of transparency. He said that there was not much that we know about how and where to use this robot in Massachusetts.

Kade emphasized that government agencies need to publicize the testing plan of Spot as well as building regulations on the application of robots in special tasks. These regulations should be aligned with civil liberties and civil rights.

That is the view of a non-profit organization. However, in the online community, the opinions are split into two sides. On one side, people are praising and supporting the new technology while the other side express their fear about the rapid development of robots.

Elizabeth Joh, a professor at US Davis Law School also shares the same opinion with the second group. She worries about the potential risk of robotic dogs because its open API could allow bad guys to exploit it for other purposes.

She also confirms that the US government and the states will need to consider carefully before deciding whether to let robots support the police or not.

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