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State Police asked to explain why robots were knocking on civilian doors

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Massachusetts State Police has been asked to explain how it is using robot dogs in its service.

The robots, made by Boston Dynamics, are believed to have helped with several live incidents as well as training scenarios. The American Civil Liberties Union wants details about how and where the robots were being used.

A video captioned with the words “MA State Police” and showing the robots opening doors and entering buildings was shared online by Boston Dynamics earlier this year.

State Police officials said the robots were being used as a “mobile remote observation device” to look at suspicious devices or locations that might be hazardous for human officers.

A member of the Cambridge police bomb squad, right, deploys a robot on Norfolk Street during a search for searching a suspect in the Boston Marathon bombings in Cambridge, Mass., Friday, April 19, 2013. Two suspects in the Boston Marathon bombing killed an MIT police officer, injured a transit officer in a firefight and threw explosive devices at police during a getaway attempt in a long night of violence that left one of them dead and another still at large Friday, authorities said as the manhunt intensified for a young man described as a dangerous terrorist. (AP Photo/Michael Dwyer)

It told WBUR, Boston’s national public radio station, the robots had worked with the organization’s bomb squad.

Separately, it said the robots had helped with two “incidents” but no details were given.

“Robot technology is a valuable tool for law enforcement because of its ability to provide situational awareness of potentially dangerous environments,” said David Procopio, a spokesman for the state police force. __ BBC Reports.

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