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Mall Security Robot Runs Over Toddler In Silicon Valley

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A security robot failed to serve and protect while on duty patrolling a mall in Silicon Valley after it ran over and injured a toddler on Thursday.

The 5-foot tall and 300 pound K5 model robot made by the company Knightscope comes complete with high-tech features like thermal imaging sensors, lasers, a microphone and 360 video in order to identify potential criminal activity. But the only criminal behavior in this case was done by the robot after its accidental collision.

Harwin Cheng, 16-month-old, was walking ahead of his parents in the Stanford Shopping Centre when the security robot bumped into and knocked him down.

According to the toddler's mother who witnessed the incident, the robot allegedly hit her son in the head which caused him to fall down face first. It then continued to keep moving along, running over the boy's right foot, which left it swollen along with a scrape behind his knee. However, x-rays taken after the incident revealed Cheng suffered from no broken bones.

"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 Tiffany Teng said. "He was crying like crazy and he never cries."

Knightscope told a different version of the story, claiming that their robot veered to the left to avoid running into the toddler. It said that the young boy then ran backwards and consequentially directly in the front of the machine, which then caused it to knock him over.

The company said that there has no been no previous reported incidents involving its K5 Autonomous Data Machines since being in operations for more than 35,000 hours and covering more than 25,000 miles while going 1 mph on its pre-programmed routes.

The robots have been used in the Stanford Shopping Center for about a year.

Knightscope's incident report states that the robot's sensors did not register a vibration alert and its motors did not fault, which they would have done when coming in contact with an obstacle.

It issued an apology to the family and invited them to its headquarters to learn more about the tech.

The entire fleet of security robots have since been suspended while the Stanford Shopping Center conducts an investigation.

Source: ABC

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