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Massachusett State Police working with Boston Dynamics robodog

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Every time a new video from Boston Dynamics is released, the reactions are usually one or both of the following. The first reaction is standing in awe over how truly impressive the robots are. The other is along the lines of “OH GOD, THE ROBOT UPRISING IS COMING!”

This new story, reported by WBUR, shows Boston Dynamics’ robot dog Spot is now working alongside the Massachusetts State Police. The robotics company has made the four-legged “robot dog” available to lease to other businesses, as well. MSP leased Spot in August and the robots have been used to evaluate two separate police incidents. Whether or not MSP is controlling the robots or if they are autonomous is not yet reported.

Spot can be equipped with cameras and rechargeable batteries that can last an hour and a half. They also have open-source software that can be customized by the customer, but it’s not confirmed if the MSP changed it up. The technology within Spot is ideal for situations involving hostages or possible bomb threats.

Boston Dynamics introduces a robocop to the Mass State Police

Boston Dynamics Vice President of Business Development, Michael Perry says the focus is to see what other incidents Spot can prove to be useful in.

Right now, our primary interest is sending the robot into situations where you want to collect information in an environment where it’s too dangerous to send a person, but not actually physically interacting with the space.

Going by Perry’s words, Boston Dynamics has its heart in the right place. But, the use of robots for police investigations does raise a lot of questions. If the MSP wants to arm Spot with firearms, and if the robot starts to malfunction, the weapon could go off.

The ACLU of Massachusetts sees a lot of problems with the use of robots. The organization requested to examine robots from Boston Dynamics that are being used with police forces.

Kade Crockford, Director of the Technology for Liberty for the organization, says “We just really don’t know enough about how the state police are using this.” The ACLU also wants the state to start examining regulations on advanced robotics for police activity.

What do you think? Does the use of robots by police forces worry you? Let us know down below in the comments or carry the discussion over to our Twitter or Facebook.

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24 Hours Across Africa

Nigeria: Court sentenced Orji kalu to 12 years in prision

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President Muhammadu Buhari regime has so far tackle corruption as promised to Nigerians before affirming the Nigerian president.

Though, one can not say whether his efforts are being recognize by Nigerian citizens after coming under criticism with his reform plans.

A Federal High Court in Lagos on Thursday sentenced a former Governor of Abia, Orji Kalu, to 12 years’ imprisonment for N7.2 billion fraud and money laundering.

Orji Kalu is a business tycoon who served as the governor of Abia State, Nigeria from May 29, 1999, to May 29, 2007. Prior to his election, he served as the chairman of the Borno Water Board and the chairman of the Cooperative and Commerce Bank Limited.

Kalu was also a member of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), Progressive Peoples Alliance (PPA) and the chairman of the PPA Board of Trustees.

He was the party’s presidential candidate in the April 2007 general election. He is currently a member of the ruling All Progressive Congress (APC) after he officially announced his resignation as a PPA BOT.

The court convicted Kalu, now a senator, on all the 39 counts preferred against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission charge.

Kalu was charged alongside a former Commissioner for Finance, in the state Jones Udeogo, and his company, Slok Nig. Ltd.

While Kalu and his company were found guilty of all the 39 counts, Udeogo was convicted on 34 counts and sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment.

The court ordered that the Slok Nig. Ltd. be wound up and its assets forfeited to the Federal Government

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24 Hours Across Africa

Unions unhappy President Emmanuel Macron’s reform

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Choas in france as angry workers stage a nationwide strike over government role on pension policy.

Schools and public transport across France has been paralysed due to the neglects of Macron’s promises pensioners.

Workers are angry at being forced to retire later or face reduced pensions.

Police, lawyers and hospital and airport staff are joining school and transport workers for a general walkout that could include millions of people.

France’s largest nationwide strike in years was agreed by unions unhappy with President Emmanuel Macron’s plans for a universal points-based pension system.

Authorities have been trying to put in place plans to mediate the disruption.

French newspaper Le Monde described Thursday as “the moment of truth for Macron”, writing: “The next days are a decisive test for the head of state.”

Public transport will be seriously tested, with 90% of high-speed TGV and intercity trains cancelled. In Paris, just five of the city’s 16 metro lines are running.

Low-cost carrier EasyJet has cancelled 223 domestic and short-haul international flights, and warned passengers to expect delays.

Nurses and hospital staff, lawyers and police officers, refuse collectors, energy staff and postal workers are among others participating in industrial action.

France’s health minister said it was not yet clear how badly hospitals would be affected, but preparations had been made to deal with the strike.

The union representing secondary or high schools expects 60% of teachers to go on strike but schools are due to stay open.

Farmers, whose pensions are among the lowest in the country, have said they will not join Thursday’s strikes.

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