A robotic security guard patrolling a mall in Palo Alto, California, recently had a run-in with a pint-sized shopper that left a toddle injured and in tears.
ABC News 7 reports that a 300-pound, 5’ tall Knightscope security robot on patrol at the Stanford Shopping Center last Thursday ran into 16-month-old Harwin Cheng. According to the child’s mother, Tiffany Teng, the robot hit her son on the head which caused him to fall to the floor face-down. The robot then proceeded to run over the boy’s right foot which she says caused it to swell and left a scrape.
Teng said her son was “crying like crazy,” adding that such behavior is uncharacteristic of the toddler.
The publication says the shopping center introduced the robotic guard last year. It is designed to alert authorities if it detects sudden environmental changes, abnormal noises and known criminals.
Worse yet, the boy’s parents claim a human security guard told them that another child was injured by the same robot days earlier. Unsurprisingly, they believe the robot to be dangerous and are concerned that it’ll hurt another child if nothing is done about it.
As of writing, neither Stanford Shopping Center nor Knightscope had responded to ABC News 7’s e-mails and voicemail messages regarding the incident.
China earlier this year unveiled a robot soldier designed to control rioters and protesters. The soldier robot doesn’t look all that different from Knightscope’s security bot save for the fact that it is equipped with weapons to help keep the peace.