Robot Designed For Children Goes Haywire, Injures Bystander at Tech Fair
Just what the designers wanted to hear. Their robot, designed to educate and entertain children, went 'rogue' at a tech fair in China, and ended up injuring one of the attendees!
Now, the error was due to human programming, said designers. But the rogue behavior of the Fabo robot was disturbing, nonetheless.
The tech fair was in the Chinese province of Guangdong last week. It's designed to promote and showcase some of the world's most cutting edge technologies. Fabo is a small robot, about the size of R2D2 from Star Wars, weighing about 25 pounds. It has a round domed head, with a slightly animated face.
The robot, due to a programming error by one of the staffers manning the booth where the robot was on display, went haywire, speeding around the floor on it's wheels, then ramming so hard into it's host booth it shattered several glass partitions. The glass injured one man, Chinese news media photos showed a man lying on a stretcher, being treated for cuts and bruises.
According to the website sixthtone.com, the fair attracted thousands of visitors, and the Fabo robot was on display as a technology that could be used to educate and entertain children, much like a teaching machine.
Officials say the robot was being moved by a worker, who tried to pick it up. In doing so, he pushed the wrong button, turning off it's automatic mode. This made it unable to avoid collisions as it sped around the room.
Officials say despite the human error component, they still strive to make sure robot technology will be harmless to humans. Especially if it's designed to be around children.