‘Robot dog’ among new gadgets unveiled for New York City police | Science & Tech News

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A “robo dog” is being added to New York’s crime-fighting armor, along with other high-tech equipment.

“Digidog is out of the pound,” said Major Eric Adams as he unveiled the devices alongside police chiefs in Times Square.

He said he was pressing ahead despite critics calling it creepy when the city first trialled one two years ago.

“A few loud people were against it and we took a step back,” the major said.

“That’s not how I operate. I operate on looking at what’s best for the city.”

The 32kg remote control robot dog will be used in dangerous situations, such as a hostage stand-off.

“If you have a barricaded suspect, if you have someone that’s inside a building that is armed, instead of sending police in there, you send Digidog in there,” said the major.

A cone-headed Autonomous Security Robot equipped with multiple cameras and sensors will also be deployed – at first overnight inside Times Square station – in a seven-month trial starting in the summer.

It will be accompanied by a human helper to start with as it glides around at a leisurely 3 mph.

It’s already been used in some university campuses and shopping centers to deter crime.

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K5 Autonomous Security Robot.  Pic: AP
The K5 Autonomous Security Robot (right) will patrol the Times Square subway station. Pic: AP

The third new device that New York cops will try is the StarChase GPS attachment system, which can fire a tracking device at stolen cars to avoid a police chase.

It can be mounted on a car or fired from a handheld device. Officers will trial it for 90 days initially.

Some have criticized the force for spending money on technology and say it could be better spent on essential services.

Albert Fox Cahn, executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project, also questioned the need for the kit.

“The NYPD is turning bad science fiction into terrible policing. New York deserves real safety, not a knockoff of RoboCop,” he said.

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