Security Robot Goes Rogue, Injures A Child

Stanford security robot went haywire knocking their one-year-old toddler

A 16-month-old toddler Harwin Cheng was ‘crying like crazy’ after a 300-pound, 5-foot-tall “K5” mechanical guard, built by Knightscope pounced on the boy at a Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, last Thursday.

“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,” Harwin’s mom Tiffany Teng said.

Harwin was left with a sore head and swollen right foot, as well as bruises on his right leg. Luckily, the child didn’t suffer any broken bones.

“He was crying like crazy and he never cries. He seldom cries,” Teng said.

The shopping center introduced the robot last year. The Knightscope K5 robot is used to recognize known shoplifters, sudden environmental changes and also reports unusual noises to the mall’s security team.

It is meant to use sensors to negotiate its way around its patrol path, but these apparently malfunctioned when it knocked down and ran over the 16-month-old boy.

A security guard at the shopping center told the concerned mother he’d seen his robotic partner hurting other child just days ago, the station reported.

Since then, the mall has temporarily shut down their high-tech robo-muscle, the Mercury News reported.

“We are investigating this incident thoroughly, and the K5 units have been docked until the investigation is complete,” the mall said in a statement.

The fact that it didn’t seem to detect Harwin is something shoppers find disturbing. “Garage doors nowadays, we’re just in a day in age where everything has some sort of a sensor,” shopper Ashle Gerrard said.

“Maybe they have to work out the sensors more. Maybe it stopped detecting or it could be buggy or something,” shopper Ankur Sharma said.

The parents want to spread the word to others saying that machine is dangerous and fear another child will get hurt. They hope that other parents will be careful the next time they visit the Stanford Shopping Center.


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Kavita Iyer
Kavita Iyer
An individual, optimist, homemaker, foodie, a die hard cricket fan and most importantly one who believes in Being Human!!!


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