Yup ‘Robot Dogs’…..
They will be used for search and rescue missions and situations that might be too dangerous for fire fighters….
The New York City Police Department obtained the ‘dogs’ first…
But their use by the department caused a backlash from the public and were taken out of service…
The Fire Department is not a law enforcement agency*….
Fire officials and robotics experts say the way the department plans to use the robots might help reshape the perception of their use for public safety purposes.
At the command of a human operator, the device can provide vital information in the midst of a calamitous event. It has the ability to descend deep underground after a steam leak to collect images and data about dangerous debris. It can also be deployed moments after a building collapse to gauge structural integrity or measure the concentration of toxic, flammable gasses like carbon monoxide to better inform firefighters responding to the scene.
The real-life scenarios in which the robots, known as Spot, will be used are far different from Hollywood depictions in which humanoid or animalistic machines often inflict damage and invoke fear, said Capt. Michael Leo from the Fire Department’s robotics unit.
“The TV industry and the movie industry are hurting us in some ways because they often show pictures of robots that are weaponized, and then people think that’s how all robots are,” Captain Leo said….
“Our whole mission is a lifesaving one,” he added. “That’s the core thing. These robots will save lives.”
In the Bronx, where 17 people were killed in an apartment fireearlier this year, using the robots to enter hazardous conditions could save the lives of firefighters and others, Borough President Vanessa L. Gibson said.
“I look forward to a positive and productive conversation with F.D.N.Y. leaders to ensure these robotic ‘dogs’ are only being used on rare, specialized, occasions with a goal of protecting our residents and first responders,” Ms. Gibson said in a statement.
A Fire Department spokesman said the robots would only collect data on hazardous materials situations and added that department compliance officers had been trained on confidentiality rules….
*One would assume in a life and death situation the NYPD could request the FDNY to send the ‘robot dog’ with its Fire Dept. controller to save a life, or lives….
image….Credit…Mostafa Bassim for The New York Times