A young boy was knocked down and run over by a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound security robot at a California mall on Thursday.
Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng suffered a swollen foot and several scrapes in the scary encounter at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto.
“The robot hit my son’s head and he fell down — facing down on the floor — and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward,” Harwin’s mom, Tiffany Teng, told ABC 7.
Teng said that the robot would have run over her son’s other foot had her husband not pulled the boy away.
ABC 7 reporter Lilian Kim tweeted a photo of Harwin’s injury next to the accused robot:
The security robots are made by a company called Knightscope, located in Mountain View. The K5 version uses lasers, thermal imaging sensors, 360 video, air quality sensors, a microphone and various other technologies to deter and detect criminal activities. In the event of suspicious activity, the robot alerts local human authorities.
Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope vice president of marketing and sales, told NBC Bay Area that the company does not think the robots are dangerous.
“This is a horrific accident, but we believe the technology and the machines are incredibly safe and we will continue to do our best to make sure that they are,” Stephens said.
The Stanford Shopping Center has used the technology for about a year. Representatives also told the NBC station that the shopping center is investigating the incident and will dock all of its security robots until further notice.