A robot in Russia escaped from a research lab in the town of Perm on June 15. An engineer at robotics company Promobot had forgotten to close a gate, and the runaway robot caused a traffic jam as it bolted out into the world.
Oleg Kivokurtsev, a co-founder of the robot’s maker, ‘The robot was teaching automatic movement algorithms on the testing ground, these functions will feature in the latest version of the Promobot.’ An engineer drove into the testing ground and forgot to close the gates behind him, and that’s when the Promobot decided to ‘go on his little adventure,’ he added.
It promptly ran out of power in the middle of the road. The robot got about 50m (164 ft) before its battery died.
Promobot is designed to avoid obstacles and to turn around when it reaches a boundary, and at the time of the incident it had been left walking around an outside yard – but it soon ended up on the busy road outside.
Russia have received double impressions regarding the robot’s prison break as citizens aren’t totally convinced the humanoid device accidentally escaped. The developing company is being accused of using the escape theory as a ploy to draw attention to its creation of robots.
Promobot claims its machines can interact with humans, for example by answering questions and giving directions though the name of the company suggests it robots’ primary purpose is to broadcast promotional audio messages via built-in loudspeakers.