While some worry about increasingly smart AIs resulting in the rise of a Skynet-like intelligence and a world full of Terminators, it seems machine’s potential domination over humanity is a long way off: a 300-pound robot can still be taken down by an (allegedly drunken) man with his fists.
Admittedly, Knightscope’s egg-shaped security robot, named K5, isn’t built for battle, but it is meant to prevent crimes near Terra Bella and Linda Vista Avenue in Mountain View, so you would imagine it’s fairly sturdy.
41-year-old Jason Sylvain must have taken a dislike to the robot’s spinning and whistling, and decided to punch it to the ground. Police say he now faces prowling and intoxication charges, according to ABC7 News.
Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope's VP of marketing told CNET : "The robot did exactly as it was suppose to do. The 'assault' was detected and immediately reported. The alarms on the robot sounded, the suspect attempted to flee the scene and was detained by one of my colleagues and me until the Mountain View Police arrived."
The Five-foot-tall K5 robots use sensors and analytics to detect unusual activity, such as abnormal noises, sudden environmental changes, and known criminals. Once alerted, it notifies human guards. The machines can read 300 license plates per minute, and while the Dalek-style bots aren’t armed, the company’s website states that gun detection features are coming soon.
Knightscope’s robots aren’t always on the receiving end of attacks; sometimes they’re the perpetrators. Last year, one that was guarding Stanford Shopping Center knocked down a 16-month-old boy and ran over his foot. The manufacturer made adjustments to the machines following the incident.
As for the K5 that was assaulted; it suffered some scratches but is now back patrolling the streets.
This isn't the first case of a machine being mercilessly attacked by members of the public. Back in 2015, friendly Hitchhiking robot HitchBOT’s attempt to cross the US ended after two weeks when it was beaten and decapitated in Philadelphia.