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NYPD 'Digidog' Has Some People Doing A Double-Take

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New NYPD technology has some people doing a double-take and asking questions. It's a robot shaped like a dog; CBS2's Tony Aiello reports.

Video Transcript

- New NYPD technology has some people doing a double take and asking questions. As you see, it's a robot that's shaped like a dog. But CBS 2's Tony Aiello tells us more about the controversy about how it's being used.

TONY AIELLO: Monday afternoon, 344 East 28th Street, cops responded to a man barricaded after a domestic dispute. Sadly, an all too common situation drawing attention because of this. One of the first times the public has seen the new NYPD Digidog bristling with cameras and microphones able to approach danger and feedback live pictures and sound.

JUSTIN KELLEY: It allows them to really put a plan together to get eyes in there without putting a human body in there. It really gives you that real-time intel that is so critical to any scene like that.

TONY AIELLO: MSA security consultant Justin Kelley used to command the Connecticut State SWAT team. He believes technology such as Digidog can save lives and money.

JUSTIN KELLEY: There's going to be instances where they're going to be able to determine that, you know, the person's not in the residence. So a seven-hour standoff might be now 90 minutes, like there are savings there.

TONY AIELLO: Defund the police critics sounded off on social media portraying Digidog as a frightening instance of over-militarized police. And with a $75,000 price tag, wasteful.

JAMAAL BOWMAN: They got military gear. And now they got robot dogs in the streets further oppressing us. We're robots now.

TONY AIELLO: Digidog is made by Boston Dynamics, which continues to develop accessories including arm attachments. NYPD policy outlines limited use of the robot for situational awareness at dangerous scenes. The mayor says he'll speak with cops about it.

BILL DE BLASIO: If in any way it's unsettling to people, we should rethink the equation.

TONY AIELLO: Police robots have been around since the 1970s, never quite like this. Tony Aiello, CBS 2 News.