Black Mirror Trending After Robot Police Dog Patrolling NYC in Video Sparks Comparison

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A viral video showing the New York Police Department's robotic dog has caused a stir online after it was shared today, sparking comparisons with the robotic dog featured in the Black Mirror Season 5 episode Metalhead.

Credit: Black Mirror
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Originally posted to Facebook, then Twitter and TikTok, the clip features a robotic dog, leaving a building, and then walkling down the stairs, alongside NYPD police officers. The narrator can be heard saying, "I never seen nothing like this before in my life."

On Twitter, user Thee Don shared the clip with the caption: "Nah they really got these robot police dogs in NYC. This is wild."

As people compared the clip to the 2017 Black Mirror episode, it amassed more than 3 million views across social media platforms.

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Designed by the robotics company Boston Dynamics, and dubbed as Digidog, the 70-pound robot first took to the streets at the end of 2020, and has been deployed to a hostage situation. It comes with lights and camera, and it's capable of two-way communication, allowing the police to speak with potential suspects and victims. It reportedly costs $75,000.

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In February, the official Twitter account of NYPD (@NYPDnews) responded to articles about DigiDog. It tweeted: "The NYPD has been using robots since the 1970's to save lives in hostage situations & hazmat incidents. This model of robot is being tested to evaluate its capabilities against other models in use by our Emergency Service Unit and Bomb Squad."

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Let's just hope that these DigiDogs won't end up terminating humans like what happened in that Black Mirror episode.