NYPD stops using Boston Dynamics' robodog following backlash

The police force canceled its $94,000 lease and will return Spot to the company.

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Following a backlash from residents and politicians, the New York Police Department will no longer deploy its Spot robot dog. A lease for the device has been canceled and it will be returned to Boston Dynamics, the NYPD told the New York Times.

The police force planned to keep testing Spot (which it nicknamed Digidog) until the lease ran out in August. The NYPD's deputy commissioner for intelligence and counterterrorism, John Miller, said the department changed its mind after Spot became a target for people who "had improperly used it to fuel arguments about race and surveillance."

Critics raised privacy concerns about the robot, which has been deployed to several crime scenes and hostage situations since October. Bill Neidhardt, a spokesman for Mayor Bill de Blasio, told the NYT he was “glad the Digidog was put down," adding that the machine is "creepy, alienating and sends the wrong message to New Yorkers."

Before canceling the agreement on April 22nd, the NYPD planned to spend $94,000 on the lease, according to records. Buying a Spot robot outright costs $75,000.