Incident 207: Hawaii Police Deployed Robot Dog to Patrol a Homeless Encampment

Description: Honolulu Police Department spent federal pandemic relief funds on a robot dog to take body temperatures and patrol a homeless quarantine encampment which local civil rights advocates criticized as dehumanizing.


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Alleged: Boston Dynamics developed an AI system deployed by Honolulu Police Department, which harmed Honolulu homeless people.

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Khoa Lam
Honolulu Police Spent $150,000 In CARES Funds On A Robot Dog · 2021

Flush with CARES Act cash, the Honolulu Police Department has spent millions on what one officer called “toys.”

The Honolulu Police Department used $150,045 in federal funds intended to respond to the pandemic to acquire a robot dog named S…

Honolulu Police Used a Robot Dog to Patrol a Homeless Encampment · 2021

Local police used $150,000 in COVID relief funds to purchase Boston Dynamics' four-legged robot, Spot.

Despite widespread public outrage at police departments’ use of Boston Dynamics' Spot robot, law enforcement agencies continue to look fo…

A useful tool or dehumanising? Robot police dog that scans homeless people sparks debate · 2021

Homeless residents of a state-run tent city in Honolulu, Hawaii, are having their eyes scanned by a robotic police dog.

Police in the city say it's a safer way to check for symptoms of COVID-19.

But local civil rights advocates say the use …

Police Outsourcing Human Interaction With Homeless People to Boston Dynamics’ Robot Dog · 2022

Honolulu PD’s $150,000 Boston Dynamics robot dog is doing the hard work of taking temperatures at one of Hawaii’s several outdoor homeless shelters.

Despite pushback from the community, cops in Honolulu are using a $150,000 robot dog to tak…


A "variant" is an incident that shares the same causative factors, produces similar harms, and involves the same intelligent systems as a known AI incident. Rather than index variants as entirely separate incidents, we list variations of incidents under the first similar incident submitted to the database. Unlike other submission types to the incident database, variants are not required to have reporting in evidence external to the Incident Database. Learn more from the research paper.