'Faithful Unto Death': Robotic dog set to make a comeback to NYPD task force

Along with 'Spot' the Digidog, the New York Police Department has revealed other new security technologies to improve safety in New York.
Mrigakshi Dixit
Spot the Digidog.
Spot the Digidog.

NYC’s Mayor Office 

The New York Police Department (NYPD) is taking crime control, and public security to the next level by introducing a variety of crime-fighting robots to patrol subway stations throughout New York.

Two robotic dogs have joined the ranks of the New York Police Department (NYPD). They were unveiled at the Times Square on April 11.

Along with Digidog, the NYPD has revealed a few other new security technologies to improve safety in New York. According to a report, the two new devices are part of pilot programs, but two DigiDogs are likely to begin their official duties starting this summer.

“We are scanning the globe on finding technology that will ensure this city is safe for New Yorkers, visitors, and whomever is here in the city. This is the beginning of a series of rollouts,” said Mayor Eric Adams.

The NYPD intends to send this DigiDog in place of police officers to assess high-risk situations. It will be used in hostage negotiations, counterterrorism incidents, chemical/radiation zones, and other potentially hazardous situations as needed. This will help save the lives of both police officers and members of the general public. 

Digidogs to the rescue

This remote-controlled robot weighs approximately 70 pounds (32 kilograms) and travels at a speed of 3.5 miles per hour. The robot is also capable of executing two-way communication and can be outfitted with additional detection equipment for investigation. The NYPD claims that the Digidogs will never be armed or used for surveillance. The two dogs cost around roughly $750,000.

The NYPD has already chosen this robot as a technological tool. This robotic dog was reportedly first introduced during a previous administration, but the technology was not implemented due to public outcry. Former Mayor Bill de Blasio proposed it in 2020. 

"The two pilots that we are rolling out today to see how they fit in our public safety environment are matched with the Digidog, a robotic dog that could be used to save lives," said Mayor Adams, as reported by NBC New York. "It was something that was introduced previously, under the previous administration, and a few loud people were opposed to it and we took a step back -- that is not how I operate. I operate on looking at what is best for the city," he added.

The police also demonstrated another device called StarChase. During a chase, it is used to fire a GPS-enabled projectile at a car. Another was K5 Autonomous Security Robot to send back intelligence information to the police department.

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