Despite prior outcry and the efficacy of these robots being called into doubt, the NYPD has purchased two Boston Dynamics Spot robots and is leasing a K5 autonomous security robot for testing.
The NYPD faced backlash in 2020 when they deployed a small robot made by Boston Dynamics nicknamed “Digidog” due to privacy and safety concerns. It was taken off the streets within a few months. However, the new mayor, Eric Adams, announced the acquisition of two Boston Dynamics Spot robots, costing $750,000, and the leasing of a single K5 “autonomous security robot” for testing, with its first assignments being in Times Square or the subway station. The K5 is a rolling surveillance device equipped with cameras, sensors, and communications hardware. The efficacy of these robots is questionable, with incidents of injury and controversy in other cities where they have been deployed.