Robotic police dogs: Useful hounds or dehumanizing machines?
Posted: Jul 30, 2021 7:01 AM CDT
By MATT O'BRIEN and JENNIFER SINCO KELLEHER Associated Press
HONOLULU (AP) — If you're homeless and looking for temporary shelter in Hawaii's capital, expect a visit from a robotic police dog that will scan your eye to make sure you don't have a fever.
That's one way public safety agencies are using Spot, the best-known of a new commercial category of robots that trot around with animal-like agility.
Police officials experimenting with the four-legged machines say they're just another tool, like drones or simpler wheeled robots, to keep emergency responders out of harm's way.
But privacy watchdogs — the human kind — warn that police aren't setting safeguards against aggressive, invasive or dehumanizing uses.