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A crafty robot was able to escape the clutches of scientific research and make a dash for freedom outside a research lab in Perm, Russia.
The robot, named Promobot, didn’t manage to travel very far, however, and had to stop in a nearby street when its battery ran out, where it managed to disturb traffic before being retrieved.
Promobot’s company was quick to post a video of the incident to its YouTube channel, causing many to suspect that this was just a clever marketing stunt to garner attention for the humanoid robot.
In the video, a police officer rolls up to the spot where the robot is blocking traffic, and a few moments later a man moves Promobot out of the street. Russian media reported that the robot was in the road for approximately 30 minutes before it was retrieved.
“Everything stopped,” Oleg Kivokurtsev, Promobot’s co-founder, told Digital Trends. “It’s not every day that people meet a robot, I guess. There was a small traffic jam and one person called the police.”
But unfortunately, this isn’t a sign of some deeper intelligence or a sign of consciousness rising in the Promobot. The robot was being taught to move around on its own when a worker reportedly left a gate open. “We were testing the robot when one of our engineers opened the door to come into our office and then forgot to close it again,” Kivokurtsev said. “With the door open, the robot escaped and made its way to the road.”
When it’s not trying to escape, Kivokurtsev says that Promobot — short for “Promotional Robot” — is intended to work in customer relations, so we make no judgements on one poor robot wanting to see the world.