The Atlanta Falcons are making “Black Mirror” a reality with its new robot security dog, complete with facial recognition and cameras.
The robopet is named Benzie, after the Falcons’ home, Mercedes-Benz Stadium, and was made by Boston Dynamics and Asylon Robotics. Benzie is designed to mimic a military work dog, according to Sports Illustrated‘s FanNation.
Benzie can scan license plates and even “sniff” for narcotics and explosives, Biometric Update reports. However, unlike some real-life working dogs, Benzie is not intended to engage directly with people. The robot also only moves at a sluggish 3.5 miles per hour, the Chronicle reports, so any “Black Mirror” fears of a high-tech predator are likely unwarranted.
Benzie will autonomously patrol 11 acres and send back real-time video during 30-minute shifts. The full-color video feed has 1080p resolution and Benzie has night vision capabilities, Biometric Updates adds. The robotic security guard is being leased annually for an undisclosed amount, according to the Atlanta Business Chronicle.
Meet Benzie, our newest security associate at Mercedes-Benz Stadium. pic.twitter.com/cr8HNQKQ3y
— Mercedes-Benz Stadium (@MBStadium) August 28, 2023
“Robots are great for the dull, dirty, and dangerous. We’re proud to call [Mercedes-Benz Stadium] and their phenomenal team a customer as we work to help keep people and property safe through advanced robotic solutions,” Asylon Robotics says in a tweet.
Eric Young, the director of physical security and parking for Mercedes-Benz Stadium, explained to Atlanta Business Chronicle the need to continue innovating while emphasizing that the robotic security guard was not a replacement for human security personnel.
“Do you want to work out here at 2 a.m.?” Young said to Atlanta Business Chronicle. “It didn’t replace a human. We want to make that clear. We actually added by getting him.” Yes, Benzie is a “him.”
AMB Sports & Entertainment LLC, which operates the stadium, claims to be the first in the sports industry to use such technology and aims to let more dogs out. Customers in other sectors include Six Flags, Ford, FedEx, and the Department of Human Services for use at the U.S.-Mexico border.
FanNation notes that the Atlanta Falcons are set to open the season with two consecutive home games, so Benzie might be able to make “his” debut in the next two weeks. In the meantime, fans seemed to get a kick out of the tweet announcing Benzie to the world.
“Can he play defense though?” one fan asks. “We need some help getting to the QB.” Another says, “It’s all fun and games until someone accidentally kicks a field goal with it.”
Image Credits: Asylon Robotics