Massachusetts State Police officially became the first police department in the United States to take the Spot dog robot from the famous robot company Boston Dynamic to the field test. The robot was used by the police from August 7 to November 5 this year, it was reportedly involved in two “incidents”, and the purpose of this event was to investigate the possibility of using the most advanced robotics by law enforcement forces.
Note that the Spot robots used by the police were leased by Boston Dynamic for 90 days. All this time the robots spent as part of the Bomb Squad sapper unit, where they were used mainly for penetrating and inspecting rooms in which explosive devices could be installed. According to the agreement with Boston Dynamic, the Spot robots were not equipped with any, even non-lethal weapons; according to the test conditions, the robots had to perform exclusively “peaceful work”.
Spot robots used in police trials are slightly different from their “civilian” counterparts. Their design has increased reliability and degree of protection IP54, robots are able to work at ambient temperatures from -20 to 45 degrees Celsius. Robots have circular stereoscopic vision, provided with high-quality stereo cameras, and their automated “arm” is capable of lifting loads up to 14 kilograms.
In addition, potential owners of Spot robots have the ability to customize and control their robot using the software interface (API) developed by Boston Dynamic. Unfortunately, the Massachusetts police did not use all these features, and the robots were controlled using standard software that did not have wide functionality and adaptability.
In conclusion, it should be noted that all this is the first time that Boston Dynamic robots have been used by law enforcement. Nevertheless, this is by no means the first time that police officers, but sappers in particular, use robots in cases where a person’s work in the high-risk zone is impractical due to a number of obvious reasons.