More than two years after their first appearance, four-legged robot "dogs" are headed back into service with the New York Police Department.
NYPD announced the return at a press conference on Tuesday.
These are the same robots that NYPD deployed in 2020 under mayor Bill de Blasio. Police cut that rollout short following community backlash. Critics called the robots "dystopian," and guides even circulated online for disabling the 70-pound machines, which use a chassis and battery from robotics company Boston Dynamics.
Current New York City Mayor Eric Adams says the robots are here to stay this time.
"A few loud people were opposed to it and we took a step back,” the mayor said. “That is not how I operate. I operate on looking at what’s best for the city."
Police will buy two of the robots, using $750,000 collected through asset forfeiture. They plan to start using the robots this summer in high-risk situations like hostage negotiations or bomb threats.
The New York Fire Department has been using the same robots to support its operations since 2022.
During the same Tuesday event, police debuted other robots and crime-fighting technology.
They will use a cone-shaped security robot to patrol the Times Square subway station. The robot can operate autonomously, but police say a human partner will accompany it at first.
Police also demonstrated a GPS tagging device for launching tracking tags at stolen cars.
Additional reporting by The Associated Press.
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