I’m telling you right now, movies have been trying to warn about things forever. Whether it’s about not buying creepy artifacts from mystery shops, not working in government testing facilities, or not responding to creepy signals from outer space, we’ve seen countless examples of how things can go really wrong in certain situations. And another one we’ve been warned about is allowing technology, specifically robots, too much into our lives. But we’ll never learn and it looks like now we have another example of something that could go really wrong. There’s a robot police dog on the prowl in New York City right now. Is there any way this situation doesn’t end in complete disaster?
The footage of this robot police dog was captured by Twitter user @1800Spoiled (what a great handle) and shows the aforementioned K-9 prancing up the steps to the station like it’s perfectly normal. Check out the video that was posted on Twitter earlier in the day.
The robot police dog was pictured outside a building on East 28th street in New York City and clearly has the NYPD branding all over it. While it wasn’t doing anything, in particular, except for prancing around and making us start to picture a robotic hellscape in which these things are now our overlords, it does begin to beg the question about why they are needed.
The New York City Police Department has apparently begun using a robot police dog like this in a number of different situations. In this video, it was along for the ride responding to a domestic call for the department. They’ve raised controversy in the past about their ability to surveil people against constitutional laws and have begun the question of continued police overreach when it comes to the use of technology. Oh, and they aren’t cheap either. This little puppy cost about $70,000 a pop.
This robot police dog is one of the kind, developed by Boston Dynamics, and has been making the rounds for a while now as the poster pet for how new technology is steadily creeping into our lives. These things can move up and down stairs and even pick up items. Plus it’s equipped with cameras that collect untold amounts of information all around it. It can also see in the dark. And that robotic arm has been showing to have some scary uses, like even being weaponized in a way outside of its possible original intent (whatever that is). Best case scenario, it can get out of rooms if you try to lock it in.
Whatever the future holds for this kind of robot police dog, it isn’t likely to be a great one. Concerns of police overreach with this kind of thing are likely to only ramp up if more are deployed and seen creepily trotting all over the city. Again, let’s take movies at their word about this kind of thing. It never ends well when robots start policing the neighborhood. In fact, it usually ends really, really bad.