In one of its kind accident involving two ‘smart’ robots, a Tesla S autonomous car hit and destroyed a Promobot v4 robot in Las Vegas where CES 2019 is undergoing.
Promobot v4 is an autonomous robot designed with the intent of placing them as administrators, hostesses, museum guides, concierges and consultants. These autonomous robots can communicate with people on any topic, answer questions, recognize faces and walk on their own by avoiding obstacles.
The accident happened when the robots were being transported to the Congress Hall where they would be used in the company’s booth in CES 2019. The robots were instructed to walk in a line but one Promobot decided to activate its ‘autonomous’ nature, strayed from the group and reached the roadway.
At the same time, a person named George Caldera was testing the self-driving mode of Tesla S which crashed into the Promobot. Interestingly, the autonomous car analyzed the impact too late and stopped some fifty meters from the accident spot.
Here’s a video of the bizarre accident.
When questioned, Caldera said, “There was nobody there, no men, no cars. I switched the Tesla into self-driving mode and it started to move. And wow! A robot on the track! I thought a flivver came round, […] it bumped straight into it! I am so sorry, the robot looks cute. And my sincere apologies to the engineers.”
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The robot suffered serious damage and its head was decapitated by Tesla Model S in the collision — emanating Transformers like vibes.
Promobot’s Development director said that an internal investigation will be conducted as to how the impacted robot reached the roadway.
Meanwhile, the accident raises serious questions on the ‘smartness’ of these autonomous robots. But it makes one thing clear that humans aren’t the only ones to bear the wrath of robots in the future. In fact, robots could very well kill other robots.