Robot Dogs, the New Companions Of The Massachusetts Police

The news has generated a stir in the United States, as it is still unknown to what extent they are safe. The agents assure that they are carrying out tests with them to verify it, although they have already taken them on two missions. The images impact. Two robot dogs stand in front of a house on a quiet, deserted street. Their appearance is a little unsettling: they are the shape and size of a canid, but they are made of plastic and metal.

Robot dogs

His attitude doesn’t seem very friendly. They have “their eyes” fixed on the entrance. What do they seek? Or who? They seem willing to find it. One of them, equipped with an arm that protrudes from his head, takes the doorknob and opens it. His partner follows him inside.

The scene lasts only a few seconds, but it makes your hair stand on end. It is real, although it may seem like the beginning of a futuristic dystopia. These are the robot dogs from Boston Dynamics, which the Massachusetts police are testing for their missions.

We can see part of these tests from minute 10.20 of this video, in a conference in which the CEO of the company, Marc Raibert, presents the numerous possibilities of use that they offer, which go far beyond security. Logistics or construction, even health, are some of them.

What can they do?

Spot robot dogs are the fruit of many years of work and improvements. Thus, they are able to move with agility in all types of terrain, they can even climb a hill or walk through a snowy surface carrying a camera.

They carry up to 14 kilograms of weight and can communicate with each other to coordinate. With all these characteristics, the Massachusetts police have not let them pass. Without a doubt, they can be very useful tools not only for the surveillance of an area, but also to examine suspicious artefacts, such as bombs, or dangerous places that can be life-threatening.

The machines have been on sale since the end of last year. However, the controversy has been generated around the images described and their police use.

The United States Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) has asked the law enforcement agencies for explanations. How and when are you using them? Who are the agents who accompany them? Will robot dogs carry weapons?

In his opinion, there is no clear legislation on the use of this technology and it may compromise the rights and freedoms of citizens.

In response, Massachusetts police have reported that they are using them as remote observation devices. He has also reported that they have already been used in two actual incidents, but have not detailed more. Of course, Boston Dynamics, the manufacturing company, has sent a message to Gizmodo to clarify the issue: “Our agreement with customers does not allow the use of Spot to harm and intimidate people.”

They also state that the Massachusetts police are currently their only clients in the area of ​​public safety, although they hope that they will be much more soon: “For the next five or 10 years, the emergency services will use these agile robot dogs.” So will the oil, gas and electricity industries, mining and nuclear decommissioning.

They will do it? Will they be the next life-saving tools or will they instead become uncontrollable and dangerous machines? Marc Raibert maintains that their inventions are not dangerous: “I know that there are many people who consider them threatening because of their appearance, but they are not evil. It is not the arms or the legs that cause bad actions, but the emotions, the personality and the ego, and the robots do not have them ”. At the moment.

How Dogs Help Children Develop Social and Emotional Skills

A study by the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute, after analyzing more than 1,600 homes, ensures that dogs help the socio-emotional development of children. The study reflected the effect that the relationship with animals has on boys and girls up to five years old.

Social and Emotional Skills

Man’s Best Friend? It seems that everything points to yes. Dogs have always been with us, from the earliest tribes, until now, and always with their unconditional support. As you well know, the relationship with your pet can be much stronger than with any human being, a mutual affection that can forge an inseparable friendship. And it is that, according to science, that unbreakable friendship. If we told you a few months ago how pets improve our health now, some researchers affirm that dogs help the social-emotional development of the little ones.

After the study published in the Mayo Clinic Proceedings magazine demonstrating the association between heart health and the company of dogs, the University of Western Australia and the Telethon Kids Institute have analyzed how dogs influenced the development of older children. of 1,646 households.

Prone to share and have friends

This research, published in the well-known journal Pediatric Research, reveals how boys and girls from two to five years old, among other characteristics such as sex, sleep habits and parents’ education levels, are 23% less likely to have difficulties basic with their emotions and social interactions than children without pets.

According to the study, young children are 30% less likely to have antisocial behaviours and 40% less to have problems interacting with other children. Also, they are more likely to share objects or food.

In addition, the study also looked at how children who played with their dog more than three times a week were 74% more likely to engage in considerate behaviours toward other people, such as sharing. However, they still have to analyze well what are the real causes and effects of the benefit that pets make in the smallest of the house. Since, although we know that dogs help the socio-emotional development of children, we still do not understand how or why it happens.

Something Strange Happens With Uranus

Diving into data obtained several decades ago, NASA scientists have discovered that Uranus’ atmosphere could seep into space. In space exploration, what is closest to Earth sets the priorities. As a general rule, at least that’s the way it has been so far. For an obvious reason of proximity. What is closer affects us more. But, above all, for possibilities. The technique allows missions to be sent to the Moon or Mars, but the same efforts redirected to study Saturn would give meagre results, by comparison. Hence it is striking to have news about the atmosphere of Uranus.

uranus facts

Even more so considering that the novelty was to bury in a set of information collected several decades ago. The Voyager 2 spacecraft flew near Uranus in 1986 and from this trip – even in times of the Cold War – the data comes. In a deep study of what the spacecraft collected, NASA scientists have observed an anomaly in Uranus atmosphere.

When Voyager 2 passed close to the planet more than 30 years ago, it did so via plasmoid. This type of structure is defined as plasma confined by a magnetic field. And scientists have discovered that this mass escapes from Uranus.

From here the researchers have reached another conclusion. With the leakage of this plasmoid into space, part of Uranus’ atmosphere is likely to be washed away. The data collected by Voyager 2 indicates that this plasmoid structure would be about 204,000 kilometres long. Its width would be double.

Much to know

The discovery is an interesting find. But it also reveals how little is known about the other planet in the solar system that has rings. Saturn is well known for this feature, but it took until 1977 to find out what Uranus had. It is this type of data, with droppers, that we have received throughout the history of space exploration.

The leak from the Uranus atmosphere into space has yet to be confirmed. But it is a probable hypothesis considering the collected data on the plasmoid. In fact, scientists believe that a similar phenomenon of gas expulsion could explain the dry and sterile character of Mars.

However, a confirmation will only be obtained by sending another ship to the area. For now, we will remain on the hypothetical ground. Which is not strange considering that Uranus was only discovered a little over 200 years ago. The planet will continue to fatten the list of mysteries – much longer than the list of certainties – of the solar system.