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State Police test out robot dogs

WBUR reports the Massachusetts State Police bomb squad got some loaners of Boston Dynamics's "Spot" robots - basically the pets a Terminator might have - and actually used them in the field at least twice. State Police declined to say exactly how they used them; the ACLU, of course, has some questions.

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Comments

Defrauding the taxpayers with falsified hours somehow? That's the main focus of the Staties now, right?

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I'm sure that's high on their agenda, too.

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All I can think of when I see these robots is the “Metalhead” episode of Black Mirror. And I want to beat it to a metallic pulp or drop it in the Mariana Trench.

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For all of its potential, Boston Dynamics doesn’t want Spot weaponized. Perry said the lease agreements have a clause requiring the robot not be used in a way that would “physically harm or intimidate people.”

I'd say police using something like this period counts as intimidating people.

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What comes to mind to me is the potential for "always-on" sampling and recording - warrantless surveillance - in non-intervention settings (or after security functions).
Imagine you have officers and "Spot" on crowd duty at the Marathon or something. Spot has a sniffer module for the occasion - trying to detect airborne traces of something distinctive leaking from a homemade bomb or sloppy bombmaker. All well and good so far.
But... what if Spot has drug-sniffing and face-recording enabled, and somebody decides to go through that buffer in post-event processing before purging the units, to see what they might stir up...?

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