A toddler in the US was left with bruises and probably a lifelong suspicion of robots after one ran him over at a shopping mall in California. Sixteen-month old Harwin Cheng was enjoying a day out with his parents at Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto when he was floored by a Knightscope K5 security robot, leaving him with scratches and bruises to his foot.
The K5, which is the same robot used by Uber to monitor its car parks in the US, apparently didn't notice the toddler standing in the path of its pre-designated patrol and carried on driving after knocking him down on 7 July.
Tiffany Cheng, the toddler's mother, told ABC 7: "The robot hit my son's head and he fell face down on the floor. The robot did not stop, it kept moving forward. He was crying like crazy and he never cries."
Fortunately, the child was not seriously injured when the 136kg robot ran over his foot, although it was left swollen, his parents said. Harwin also suffered a scrape to his leg.
The K5, which stands five feet tall, is an autonomous robot designed to patrol pre-designated areas and record any suspicious activity through an on-board video camera and microphone. It's also been equipped with lasers, thermal imaging and various other sensors which are theoretically meant to stop it colliding with people or obstacles.
According to ABC 7, the robot has been in use at the Palo Alto shopping centre for more than a year. Allegedly, a security guard at the mall told the toddler's parents that another child had been hurt by the same robot days before the incident.