Robot 'assaulted' by drunk man helps police arrest him

Another K5 made the news after injuring a toddler last year

Aatif Sulleyman
Wednesday 26 April 2017 18:51 BST
The case has caused plenty of amusement but raised a number of valid questions too
The case has caused plenty of amusement but raised a number of valid questions too (Knightscope)

A US man has been arrested for allegedly knocking over a security robot while drunk.

The incident took place in a car park in Mountain View, California.

The autonomous robot, called K5, suffered a number of scratches but is now back on patrol.

It’s a real physical presence, weighing in at 300lb and measuring five feet tall and three feet wide, and would have required some force to topple.

"Yes, someone did knock over one of the robots at our headquarters in Mountain View," Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope's vice president of marketing and sales, told The Independent.

"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.

"We are incredibly proud of the outcome and believe this to be a true testament to the technology we developed here in Silicon Valley. We are equally happy to report that the robot has recuperated from his injuries and is back on patrol keeping our office and employees safe again.”

Knightscope says K5 is designed for large outdoor spaces, such as hospitals and corporate campuses, and uses sensors and analytics to detect and report unusual activities.

It also keeps tabs on environmental conditions, wireless signals and license plates, with a “gun detection” feature said to be in development.

K5 can collect over 90TB of data per year, and assist investigators by replaying incidents to them.

“I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn't even have any arms,” Mountain View resident Eamonn Callon told ABC7 News.

“I don't think this is a fair fight, really totally unacceptable.”

Mr Callon aside, it’s a case that’s caused plenty of amusement. However, it also raises a number of valid questions about how such incidents should be handled in the future, as robots and potentially mischievous humans cross paths increasingly often.

Incidentally, another one of Knightscope’s K5 robots knocked a toddler over last summer, inflicting a scratch to his leg and causing swelling to his foot.

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