The Massachusetts Police Engineer Unit rented a Boston Dynamics Spot robot to use it to remotely monitor suspicious and dangerous objects..
From April to November, the robot dog was not only trained and tested at the training ground, but also used in two real-life incidents. Although the details of the tests and the level of autonomy of the rented Spot were not disclosed, the police say they did not change the underlying software or use it as a weapon..
Boston Dynamics also says that law enforcement agencies could not arm the robot even if they wanted to, since the company’s license prohibits the use of products for any purpose that can harm a person. Robots are rented, not sold, in order to be able to terminate the contract at any time in case of violation of its terms.
However, the American Civil Liberties Union felt that the trials were not transparent enough and pointed to the lack of real regulatory obstacles to the unlawful use of robots.
In April, police showed prospects for using Spot in their operations at a TechCrunch session, but did not inform the public about the lease plans..
In addition to Boston Dynamics, engineers from Florida Atlantic University have also made strides in developing smart robots with the Astro, a trainable robot dog..
text: Ilya Bauer, photo and video: Boston Dynamics / MA State Police / TechCrunch
Mass. State Police Tested Out Boston Dynamics’ Spot The Robot Dog. Civil Liberties Advocates Want To