Russian police detain robot for attending political rally

A robot has been detained by police at a political rally in Moscow after recording voters’ opinions on topics, it has been reported.

The rally was for Valery Kalachev, a candidate for the Russian Parliament, who had rented the robot named Promobot for his campaign. Mr Kalachev has featured the robot at previous campaign stops.

Promobot, is a Russian marketing robot and stands for Promotional Robot. They were created by Russian scientists to work in customer relations.

While police did not confirm why they detained Promobot, but local media was reporting the company behind the robot said police were called because it was “recording voters’ opinions on [a] variety of topics for further processing and analysis by the candidate’s team”.

However, according to a Promobot spokesman, the robot was detained because “perhaps this action wasn’t authorised”.

Police asked to remove the robot away from the crowded area, and even tried to handcuff him, the spokesman added.

Just before the machine was arrested, a member of the public apparently asked the police officer: Are you really going to put a robot in jail?

An officer replied: Not if we can roll this thing away from the metro entrance.

Mr Kalachev, who hopes to win a parliamentary seat for the Rodina party, said, “People like robots, they are easy to get along with. There are a few Promobots working for us which are collecting people’s demands and wishes at the moment.”

Interestingly, an earlier model of the same robot escaped its research lab in June, traveling 150 feet before its batteries die. Despite being reprogrammed twice, it continued to move towards the exits.

It caused chaos on the streets after getting halfway across the road before its batteries ran out, leaving it stranded in the middle of the road.

For more than an hour, the robot was on the road outside the research lab, as vehicles tried to manoeuvre their way around it.