New York mayor De Blasio puts down "creepy" police robo-dog that was working with NYPD

Originally published at: New York mayor De Blasio puts down "creepy" police robo-dog that was working with NYPD | Boing Boing


AOC nailed the issue here:

Always enough resources to find new ways to lock poor people up, never enough resources to find ways to alleviate poverty.


For a so-called progressive mayor, De Blasio has made so many of these missteps during his tenure that at times NYC has resembled a late-stage capitalist dystopia straight out of a SF novel.


Spend the MONEY on people/community, not policing, for f@cks sake!


Question for robotics experts, as I have no knowledge of this stuff: That thing comes at me, what protects its obviously exposed joints when I throw a pail of masonry sand at it?


Nothing, it weighs 70 pounds, and in the vernacular of folks in NYC, it don’t fly or swim. Make your own conclusions.


The cop who already shot you seven times (and a few bystanders too) by the time he remembered the dog is also a camera?


I’m no robotics expert, but I am just going to leave this here:


No, that’s not a problem. I’m a middle-aged white guy.

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Unless you also happen to rich, eventually that won’t be enough to protect you, either.


If it’s money well spent is one thing, but the idea of sending in an unarmed robodog instead of an armed cop in a potentially dangerous situation has its advantages. If all it has is a camera, microphone and loudspeaker, the cops have no choice but to try to talk to the suspect. It’s way better than sending in a SWAT-team into a building where they fear there might be an armed person.


“Some critics also pointed out it was reminiscent of robot dogs in the dystopian Netflix series Black Mirror.”

Well done, Charlie Brooker, on giving critics pop cultural ammunition to oppose authoritarian propaganda. “This is like something from Black Mirror!” seems to be horning in on “This is like something from Orwell.”


…Cop turns around and shoots the robodog.


The robo-dog was sent to a nice farm upstate where he can run and frolic with other dogs.


Remember even the super-advanced killbot from Black Mirror was largely disabled with a can of paint.


I’m still waiting:


Although I thought the chase robot was cooler (similar to the Batman Animated episode with the Gray Ghost).


I think a robot dog like this could be useful in search and rescue operations in dangerous situations like buildings that have partially collapsed after a hurricane, tornado, earthquake, or other natural (or un-natural :frowning:) disaster. But let’s hope New York City doesn’t need to perform any such S&R operations in the near future.

If the dog was built to be heat- or fire-resistant I could see them being used by the NYFD instead of NYPD. Mount fire extinguishers on them and give them gas mask attachments then send them into burning buildings to find people who are trapped so the dog could lead them to safety, putting out flames that block their path along the way.

Hmm. I wonder how well they could run on snow. Could they be used like the stereotypical idea people have of St. Bernards, carrying supplies (including a heater) to locate people who are lost in wintery conditions? If you set loose a pack of them to search an area, they could coordinate and summon human rescuers when or if they find their target.


That’s the only legitimate use cases for robotics in my opinion. Places where people would be at severe risk of harm but the work is vital to civilization. Whether it’s mining, waste disposal, or fire fighting as examples. These are the things that past science fiction writers dreamed of but sadly the world has darker dreams for robotics.


All dogs go to heaven. Except freakish robot dogs sent by tech bros to terrorize brown people. They can go to hell.

And the robo-dogs too


Given that the NYPD has used their flying drones to intimidate/harass anti-police activists, it was pretty clear how this was going to inevitably be used, too.

I’m pretty sure the NYPD have tight control over mayors. I don’t know exactly what the mechanisms of control are, but police unions tend to have a huge influence over local politics and the NYPD has, in recent decades, perpetrated outright riots and actually threatened elected officials in response to criticism. I wouldn’t put it past them to use threats to harass (i.e. “your daughter could get in a lot of trouble”) or even kill the mayor. I do think they’re capable of anything, given that the NYPD aren’t just politically powerful but are also an organized criminal gang (and I don’t mean that as metaphor or hyperbole) with the resources of a small country.