A robotic revolt has always been on the cards ever since we started playing around with VR. We may have just witnessed the first self-aware step towards this – a Russian robot escaping its lab and wandering onto the street causing a traffic jam.
The Promobot v2, currently under development at Promobot Labs in Perm, Russia, is being taught to move around independently. However, in their work to provide it with the knowledge to do so, they didn’t take into account the fact that it would try to do a runner when an engineer forgot to shut a gate!
Promobot made its way onto a nearby street, exploring until its battery expired. All in all, it was free for roughly 40 minutes.
The robot itself, according to Promobot Labs, is designed to be a general assistant – offering directions, translations and answering general questions. In this situation, it wasn’t being that helpful…
Promobot appeared to be stranded in the middle of the road, forcing cars to swerve around it. After a few near misses, the police and engineers turned up to remove it.
Now there is some scepticism about the whole thing. IT-World believes this is a publicity stunt orchestrated by the labs for some extra PR, questioning the detailed account left on the company’s blog.
But whether it’s a publicity stunt or not, this isn’t the first time it’s happened – and it sure as hell won’t be the last. R.I.P Human race.
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