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‘Chubby’ robot goes haywire, injures human at trade show

It was only a matter of time until the robot retaliation began.

 

Christina Bonnington

Tech

Published Nov 22, 2016   Updated May 25, 2021, 1:08 pm CDT

It was only a matter of time until the robot retaliation began. During the Hi-Tech Fair trade show in Shenzhen, China, last week, a robot dubbed Xiao Pang (“Little Chubby”) went rogue, sending one human to the hospital with injuries.

According to the publication People’s Daily China, this is the first instance of a robot injuring a human in the country. The incident was reportedly caused by user error, when the robot’s operator accidentally hit “forward” rather than “reverse” while trying to move the bot. The robot (ironically intended for kids ages 4 to 12) then smashed through a glass booth, injuring one of the trade show’s visitors. Normally, the robot has sensors that prevent it from running into objects, but because its control panel was open at the time, that feature was unfortunately switched off. 

The Huffington Post reports the unidentified man hurt his ankle due to broken glass, and would require stitches. 

The incident is isolated, and the robot’s maker has since posted an apology on its website, Mashable reports. 

Given the way we humans have treated robots in the past, perhaps we should tread lightly around our cybernetic brethren—particularly if there’s broken glass around. 

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*First Published: Nov 22, 2016, 6:55 pm CST