Yesterday, the Western Australia Police Force added detective Spot to their bomb response unit. Spot, as you can see, is not your average dog.
But now, with Spot joining the WA Police, we’ve seen the first example of Boston Dynamics’ robotic dog put to work on an Australian police force. It’s not the first police force to adopt Spot, but it is a first in Australia.
“This robot brings additional capabilities,” said WA Minister for Police Paul Papalia.
“Very obviously, it’s got legs instead of wheels or tracks. It makes it more adept at getting up and down stairways and in difficult situations for climbing and going down steep declines.
“The main, most valuable asset the [Tactical Response Group] has when dealing with a bomb, or any explosive device, are the people. Anything we can do to protect them and get them further away from danger and the explosive device is a good thing.”
Spot’s main job wont be to actually defuse the bombs, but he’ll play a valuable role in responding to explosive threats. As one of the more nimble bomb squad robots on the Western Australia Police Force, Spot is able to get into a dangerous situation, scope it out, and potentially bring the hazardous object to another robot for defusal.
Part of Spot’s kit is an inbuilt camera, which sends live video back to the driver of the robot, along with the removable arm on top of him, which you can see in the video.
Your immediate thought when hearing “robot dog” and “police” might be more violent, perhaps in the vein of a mounted gun, however the creators of Spot have said that they’re completely against weaponising spot.
No, Spot’s job on the force is to help the bomb squad with bomb threats.
“When we do have those situations, and they are rare in WA, we have the best technology that we can deploy into those high-risk situations,” said WA Commissioner of Police Col Blanch.