New York City Mayor Eric Adams unveiled on Thursday the NYFD's newest tool in fighting fires and rescuing people: a robot dog produced by Boston Dynamics.
"The future of fire safety and rescue courtesy of the @FDNY," tweeted the mayor on Thursday:
The taxi-yellow-colored robot dog can be seen negotiating its way up and down stairs automatically, as Mayor Adams says "some good stuff," laughing. "Good stuff!"
Mayor Adams continues, asking if the robot will "come down on its own." A representative from Boston Dynamics is there, telling him to "just go back on that [control]," which he does, and the robot obediently marches back down the stairs.
At the time of this writing, there is no word on if and when the program will be implemented, and what its exact scope and nature might be.
Robot dogs have been in use previously by municipal governments, although not necessarily charged with such serious tasks as saving lives. In fact, the NYPD had already had a pilot program in place with similar robotic critters, which was used at least twice in the field, according to Scientific American.
However, there was a public backlash against the so-nicknamed "Spot" or "Digidog," and the program was eventually cancelled.
The New York Post ran an article on Wednesday about a similar dog walking the streets of Shanghai with a loudspeaker on it, shouting public safety messages to residents in the wake of another wave of the COVID virus sweeping their nation.
The formal name for these dog-like robots is the Quadrupedal Unmanned Ground Vehicle, or Q-UGV, and they are also being currently tested for various military applications worldwide.
Naturally, there is also widespread worry about the abuse of these technological marvels. Critics have been noting that military-grade robots of this nature could truly be scary if they were to be hacked or fall into the wrong hands in any way.
In the episode of dystopian TV series "Black Mirror" titled "Metalhead," a group of people get gruesomely slaughtered by a robot dog, one that looks much like the one in the above video.
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