Recently, the New York Police Department leased a “Spot” robot dog from Boston Dynamics as part of a test program.
The robot, which the police force dubbed “Digidog,” would be used to inspect dangerous areas and help keep officers safe.
But public outcry resulted in the NYPD cancelling the $94,000 contract and returning the robot to Boston Dynamics.
According to NPR, the backlash was related to “calls to cut the police budget and concerns of police militarization and abuses of force.”
The Digidog program was also criticized for what was dubbed “robotic surveillance.”
A spokesperson for New York Mayor Bill De Blasio said he was “glad” the program was axed, and that Digidog was “creepy, alienating, and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers."
Despite the cessation of the New York program, the New York Times reports that other police departments, including those in Hawaii and Massachusetts, are testing the device.