Hawaii police unveil robot dog ‘Spot,’ helps officers with COVID-19 response


HONOLULU (KHON) — Police in Hawaii have a new sidekick to help responding officers and the homeless amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The Honolulu Police Department (HPD) Friday unveiled “Spot,” the robot dog, and demonstrated how the dog operates.

HPD says officers would sometimes have to quarantine for 14 days due to possible exposure to COVID-19 after interviews with folks at the city’s coronavirus screening site for the homeless. Police say having Spot around will eliminate that risk.

“We had numerous staff that had to go on quarantine, numerous officers, civilians, 14 days where they have to go out of work and wait to find out if they’re exposed. You can’t put a price on someone’s life or their families, so for me if there’s tech that can solve a problem and we can figure it out, I think that was a completely legitimate use of the funds for what we were doing.”


O’Neal says Spot uses technology that scans a person’s eyeball to provide an accurate body temperature.

HPD purchased Spot in summer 2020 for $150,000 using CARES Act money.

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