The ACLU Wants Details On Boston Dynamics Robot in Police Exercises

Back in April at the robotics event at UC Berkeley, Boston Dynamics head Marc Raibert showed off a video of the company’s Spot robot in numerous completely different real-world scenarios. Some, like development and first responders, had been acquainted with anyone who has been following the company — and automation generally.

One other scenario, which discovered the robotic opening doors throughout a coaching train for the Massachusetts State Police, was something completely different. It was a quick video that demonstrated how the robotic might probably be used to assist get human officers out of harm’s way throughout a terrorist or hostage state of affairs. All these months later, the video has raised some questions amongst some civil liberties teams — together with, largely notably, the Massachusetts wing of the ACLU.

A public record request filed by the group is in response to a Facebook put up by the division describing the July occasion that, “seeks to be taught extra about how your company makes use of or has contemplated using robotics.”

As with all new expertise, it’s proper to ask many of those questions. In fact, this specific video has the added bonus of combining people’s mistrust of massive, scary robots with their (arguably deserved) distrust of regulation enforcement. It’s fairly straightforward to observe a video like that and go instantly down a dystopian rabbit hole.

Boston Dynamics advised that it’s not at liberty to debate the specifics of how the Massachusetts State Police deployed the robotic; however, the company’s Vice President Of Business Development Michael Perry defined that it’s put in place pointers for the way the loaner units can be used.