A New York Lawmaker Wants to Ban Police Use of Armed Robots
New York City councilmember Ben Kallos says he “watched in horror” last month when city police responded to a hostage situation in the Bronx using Boston Dynamics’ Digidog, a remotely operated robotic dog equipped with surveillance cameras.
Now Kallos is proposing what may be the nation’s first law banning police from owning or operating robots armed with weapons. Kallos’ bill would not ban unarmed utility robots like the Digidog, only weaponized robots.
But robotics experts and ethicists say he has tapped into concerns about the increasing militarization of police: their increasing access to sophisticated robots through private vendors and a controversial military equipment pipeline. Police in Massachusetts and Hawaii are testing the Digidog as well.