This week, at the Stanford Shopping Center in California, a 300-pound robotic security guard accidentally smacked into a 16-month-old boy and rolled over him. Oops.
The robot, which stands five feet tall and was built by a company called Knightscope, is engineered to patrol areas and alert human authorities to any suspicious activity. (It’s enabled with several cameras to film potential problems.) Unfortunately for the boy, it seems he was just in the wrong place at the wrong time and the robot kept on patrolling anyway. “The robot hit my son’s head and he fell down, facing down on the floor, and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward,” the boy’s mother told ABC 7 News. (The boy fortunately did not break any bones, but we’d have to imagine getting his tiny, child foot steamrolled by a clunky robot didn’t tickle.)
If you follow along with Uber-related news, you might be familiar with the egg-shaped, robotic security guard. Earlier this month, news broke that the company uses two of them to patrol its car-inspection lot in San Fransisco. At $7 an hour, the rental robots are certainly cheaper than paying a human security guard, though human guards also haven’t been known to wheel themselves over unsuspecting human children. Which is definitely something to consider, at least until robots get smart enough to differentiate between toddlers who are casing the joint and toddlers who are, well, not.