NYPD's nightmarish robotic dog is sent to the pound after backlash

New York, New York – The New York Police Department will no longer be using a "robot dog" to patrol the streets, after it received a huge amount of backlash for its trial run.

Digidog makes its way out of a building alongside NYPD officers in one of its use-cases with the department.
Digidog makes its way out of a building alongside NYPD officers in one of its use-cases with the department.  © screenshot/Twitter/YoussefDisla

The lease for NYPD's nightmare-inducing "Digidog" has ended early after law enforcement received negative comments about its usage.

The robot's maker, Boston Dynamics, had a contract valued at $94,000 with NYPD for the use of Digidog, but the agreement was cut on April 22.

Much of the public backlash revolved around the alleged militarization of artificial intelligence technology in the police force.

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The NYPD let the robotic dog off its leash numerous times during its tenure with the department, though they said it was never used to serve as an act of intimidation.

The decision to terminate the lease for the robotic dog came days after New York City Councilman Ben Kallos and Council Speaker Corey Johnson filed a subpoena for the data and recordings the bot collected for the NYPD.

Such documentation was never released, as the department and Boston Dynamics agreed to end the contract roughly four months early, according to The Hill.

Another major talking point around the use of Boston Dynamic's robotic dog revolves around the allocation of funds, something Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez spoke publicly about in February.

In a tweet, Rep. Ocasio-Cortez said, "Please ask yourself: when was the last time you saw next-generation, world class technology for education, healthcare, housing, etc consistently prioritized for underserved communities like this?"

Digidog has been sent to the pound for now, but John Miller, NYPD deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, refused to rule out its use in the future.

Cover photo: screenshot/Twitter/YoussefDisla

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