Over $1 Billion Won
For Our Clients

First Documented Case of One Robot “Injuring” Another Robot?

Next year will mark the one-hundredth anniversary of the word entry of the “robot” into the English language when it was used in the title of the 1920 play R.U.R. (Rossumovi Univerzální Roboti – “Rossum’s Universal Robots”) by the Czech writer Karel Capek, who credited his brother Josef Capek as creating it from the Czech term for “drudgery”,robota.

In today’s post, the personal injury and defective consumer product lawyer at The Doan Law Firm reports on an unusual recent event that may become commonplace in our lifetimes: a robot has “injured” another robot.

The Case

The Las Vegas Consumer Electronics Show (CES) is billed as “… the world’s gathering place for all those who thrive on the business of consumer technologies … the global stage where next-generation innovations are introduced to the marketplace”. This year’s show may also mark the first documented case of one robot accidentally causing damage to another robot.

The robots involved in the incident were identified as:

  • A Model S Tesla, a product of Elon Musk’s Tesla, Inc. At the time of the incident the vehicle was being operated in its “autonomous” mode as an Autonomous Vehicle (AV), meaning that it was operating under the control of its onboard computerwithout a driver being physically present as a “backup” in case of a problem with the vehicle or its computer.

  • A Promobot, which is advertised as an “… autonomous robot designed for business purposes. It is able to communicate with people on any topic, recognize faces, answer questions, move around avoiding obstacles, move its arms and head, show various materials on its display and integrate with third-party devices and systems.”

In the YouTube video window below, note that the “Promobot” has paused about one foot from the left curb and is facing the oncoming Tesla “S” which was being operated as an AV (relying on its “onboard” computer technology such as GPS and computer-interpreted video datawithout a human driver).

* Required Field