Skip to main content

Intoxicated man allegedly assaults a robot in Silicon Valley, gets arrested

k5 robot assault arrests knightscope 8445
People show their concern about the impending artificial intelligence-fuelled rise of the robots in all manner of different ways.

One man in Mountain View, California, this week decided to take out what we can only imagine to be his fears about the impact of increased automation on the human workforce by allegedly assaulting an innocent robot in a Silicon Valley parking lot.

The robot caught up in in the incident was K5, one of the smart sensor-equipped 300-pound security robots designed by robotics company Knightscope. The assailant allegedly knocked over K5, which immediately registered the assault and sounded an alarm. The suspect attempted to run but was ultimately arrested by Mountain View Police.

“We are incredibly proud of the outcome and believe this to be a true testament to the technology we developed here in Silicon Valley,” Stacy Dean Stephens, Knightscope’s vice president of marketing and sales, told the U.K.-based Independent newspaper. “We are equally happy to report that the robot has recuperated from his injuries and is back on patrol keeping our office and employees safe again.”

K5 reportedly suffered only superficial injuries, including a number of scratches on its back, during the attack.

“I think this is a pretty pathetic incident because it shows how spineless the drunk guys in Silicon Valley really are because they attack a victim who doesn’t even have any arms,” a Mountain View resident told ABC7 News.

While man-on-robot crime is still something of a new phenomenon, it is not totally without precedent. In 2015, an intoxicated man in Japan attacked one of SoftBank’s emotion-reading Pepper robots, kicking and damaging the bot.

Personally, we would steer clear of fighting with robots, regardless of the circumstances. After all, you never know which one might know Boston Dynamics’ terrifying dog robot on a first-name basis.

Editors' Recommendations

Luke Dormehl
I'm a UK-based tech writer covering Cool Tech at Digital Trends. I've also written for Fast Company, Wired, the Guardian…
HBO bringing back award-winning comedy series ‘Silicon Valley’ for sixth season
HBO Silicon Valley season six renew

We're a few episodes into the fifth season of HBO's hit comedy series Silicon Valley, and the network has already announced that it is renewing the show for a sixth season. HBO announced the return of Richard Hendricks and company on its official Medium account, alongside news of a second season for the Bill Hader-led dark comedy series Barry, which debuted the same day as Silicon Valley's fifth season premiere.

“While Barry has delighted audiences with its deft interplay of comedy and drama, Silicon Valley remains as brilliantly and frighteningly prescient as ever,” Amy Gravitt, executive vice president, HBO Programming, said. “We’re thrilled that these two smart, funny shows are returning for another season.”

Read more
New ‘Silicon Valley’ season 5 photos bring the gang back together
popular television series renewed silicon valley 0101

Silicon Valley | Season 5 Official Trailer | HBO

The Pied Piper team is headed back to the small screen soon, and HBO has released some new images from the return of its award-winning series Silicon Valley.

Read more
Cross a John Deere with a Roomba, and you get this crop-monitoring robot
terrasentia farm robot girish chowdhary  professor of agricultural engineering

L. Brian Stauffer

Farms are a hotbed for automation. Robots, drones, and artificial intelligence have been assisting in agriculture for years and 2017 showed they could farm an acre and a half of barley, from planting to tending and harvesting, without a human stepping foot on the field.

Read more