Shopping center docks security robots after child injured in accident

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Two security robots at Stanford Shopping Center are docked Wednesday following what the manufacturer is calling a "freak accident" involving a toddler. Knightscope, the robotics manufacturer, is apologizing for what happened, yet said video footage from the robot doesn't show it knocked down a child.

"Our core mission is to protect public safety, so any report of anyone getting hurt as a result from of our machines is horrific," said Stacy Stephens of Knightscope.

The Mountain View based company said the robot's cameras capture the child running toward the machine. The robot veers away and stops. The child looks back at his parents and then runs into the machine and falls down.

"Based on what we saw there's no report of any kind of motor fault, which means something happened and we ran over something," said Stephens. "There's no report of any vibration of the machine so if it had toppled or ran over someone there's no report of that."

"That's totally not true," said Tiffany Teng of San Jose. "It hit my son's head. He has bruises."

Teng said the 5'5" tall, 300-pound machine caught her family by surprise and its camera angles may not have captured the full story. She said she witnessed her son bump into the robot and then saw it run over his right foot. She took pictures of his injuries..

"I went in front of the robot and tried my strength to push it back and try to stop it," said Teng.
The company reports this is its first reported injury. Their robots have logged 25,000 miles. However, according to Teng, a security guard at the mall told her a robot hit another child in the same week.

"Today's technology...if you want to design a robot to protect humans...[essentially] it failed," said Teng.

The Stanford Shopping Center introduced the gliding "K5" robots last year. The robot uses cameras and sensors to monitor and report suspicious activity while hopefully deterring crime with its watchful presence, according to San Jose Mercury News. 

It's unclear when the robots will be used again. Teng said for now, she wants them permanently shut down.