April 11 2023 MANHATTAN, New York – the New York City Police Department announced today that it will begin deployment of three policing technologies:
1. StarChase GPS tag attachment system
2. Digidog mobile robot.
3. K5 Autonomous Security Robot (ASR).
Police say these tools will assist the women and men of the NYPD in their work of keeping New York safe.
Here is how they will be used, according to the NYPD:
STARCHASE CAR GPS TAG
1. “The StarChase system operates by attaching a GPS tag by either a hand-held or vehicle-mounted launcher onto a fleeing vehicle. The system then tracks the vehicle via a web-based app, and provides real-time information about the vehicle’s location. This technology will allow NYPD officers to track a tagged vehicle remotely, avoiding a high-risk vehicle pursuit in the crowded streets of New York City. The use of the device is limited to allow officers to track the vehicle while remaining in proximity, and apprehend the perpetrator as soon as practicable. The device will not be used to determine where the vehicle was traveling over longer periods of time.
The StarChase system will only be operated by officers trained in its use. It will only be deployed when there is probable cause to believe that the vehicle was used in the commission of a crime, or probable cause to believe that an occupant of the vehicle has committed a crime, or in exigent circumstances. The NYPD pilot for use of the StarChase system is set to last 90 days.”
2. “These robotic devices, coined “Digidog,” are set to arrive over the next few months to the department’s Technical Assistance & Response Unit (TARU), whose commanders have developed specialized training for their use in an array of specific critical incidents. These fully remote-controlled devices are designed to assess and assist the NYPD in investigating high-risk, hazardous situations and locations. They are tools that will undoubtedly save lives – both of the public and the police.
Weighing 70 pounds and moving at a top speed of 3.5 miles per hour, the Digidog can easily traverse difficult terrain and is ideal for hostage negotiations, barricaded individuals, hazardous chemical/radiation zones, and other dangerous incidents. The robots will be remotely controlled only by trained TARU officers, and be deployed to assist the Emergency Service Unit, the Hostage Negotiation Team, Counterterrorism personnel, and other units as needed. The Digidog is capable of two-way audio communication, and can be equipped with radiation detectors, gas meters, and thermal sensors.
The NYPD expects to begin deploying this technology in the summer of 2023, and funding for the two devices was procured through asset forfeiture. Under the NYPD’s protocols, officers will never outfit a robot to carry a weapon and will never use one for surveillance of any kind.”
AUTONOMOUS SECURITY ROBOT
3. “The K5 Autonomous Security Robot (ASR) will provide additional camera coverage of confined public areas, such as transit facilities. The K5 ASR has been used by law enforcement agencies, college campuses, corporations, shopping malls, etc. across the country to provide security and deter crime. The device is leased from the manufacturer, and the NYPD’s pilot program is set to begin in the summer of 2023 and last approximately seven months.
Initial deployment of the K5 ASR will be inside the Times Square subway station from midnight to 8:00 am, and during that initial deployment the K5 ASR will have a human “partner” – a TARU officer who will monitor its use and be able to answer questions from the public.
The K5 ASR uses self-driving technology with onboard cameras and sensors which enable it to travel a predetermined path set by the operator. The device provides real-time situational awareness and actionable intelligence to first responders, and also provides a physical deterrence to crime.
The K5 ASR detects objects in its path, such as people, and will stop moving until the path is clear. The device can also be equipped with heat sensors, thermal detection, and the capability to broadcast preset audio messages. The K5 ASR also includes a security call button, which when activated will connect the user to a live person who can provide assistance and/or direction. “