A hi-tech robotic dog went for a walk on the streets of downtown Dallas recently, showing that new dogs have tricks all of their own.
Toy robot dogs had their spotlight in the early 2000s. From the iconic iDog to WowWee’s Mega-Byte the Hound Droid and Mattel’s Rocket the Wonder Dog, these robotic pets could light up, bark, and dance.
Dallas-based AT&T recently developed its version of the robotic dog and recently took it on a walk through downtown Dallas.
Ghost Robotics partnered with AT&T to build this robot, which can be used by organizations such as public safety enforcement officials, the military, and private businesses. The robot is covered in cameras and sensors.
AT&T explained that the droid dogs can go where it might be “too dangerous for humans.” They can walk over all kinds of terrain, even go underwater, and detect dangers humans cannot detect, such as radiation and explosives.
The agile dog can be walked up curbs and stairs, as well as through puddles and up the side of a cliff, as shown in the video of the dog being walked through the AT&T Discovery District.
When the handler knocked the dog over, the machine demonstrated that it could get itself upright.
AT&T has claimed the dog is primarily designed to serve communities, utilizing a communications network designed to help law enforcement, healthcare, and first responders. However, AT&T also noted that “at least eight” military bases have these robotic dogs in operation.
Another tech company, Boston Dynamics, recently released its version of the robot dog, which could potentially be used by the Los Angeles Police Department.
LAPD’s Capt. Brian Bixler, who oversees the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division, including SWAT, said the robot could aid serious operations handled by LAPD’s SWAT teams.
Situations involving an active shooter, a barricaded suspect, or an explosive device could all be resolved using the robot dog without endangering human lives.
Another robotics company, Unitree, has already produced a new generation robot dog that can reach a speed exceeding 10 miles per hour (17 km per hour). The Go1 has adaptive joints and an intelligent side-follow system.
A recent video of a mass testing event in a Unitree factory showed dozens of robotic dogs demonstrating impressive agility and synchronicity.
Though AT&T contended quadruped robots will be used for the benefit of society, concerns persist about the potential weaponization of the droids in the future.
One Twitter user named @BeetaBaran expressed such concern after watching the Go1 test video, asking, “Future armies to be unleashed on [the] population if they aren’t obedient and compliant?”
This exposition comes as the Dallas Police Department has expanded its aerial drone capabilities over the past several years, going so far as to allow drones to use lethal force in certain situations, as reported by The Dallas Express.