A four-legged “robot dog” is the newest member of the Los Angeles Police Department after the City Council voted 8-4 to approve its acquisition on Tuesday.
The robot – a quadruped unmanned ground vehicle called “Spot” – is manufactured by Boston Dynamics and is valued at nearly $280,000.
Spot was first offered as a gift to the LAPD’s Metropolitan Division by the Los Angeles Police Foundation in March. The foundation is a nonprofit group that has “awarded more than $44 million in grants to the LAPD” since 1998, according to its website.
LAPD said the robot will be used in a limited number of scenarios including “incidents involving active shooters, assessment of explosives, hostage situations, natural disasters, hazardous materials assessment, barricaded suspects and search and rescue missions.”
Spot will not be equipped with any weapons systems, facial recognition software or analysis capabilities, officials said. It will also not be used for routine patrol duties or covert surveillance operations.