It's happening: A robot escaped from its lab and made break for freedom

 
Emma Haslett
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The robot caused (mild) traffic chaos (Source: YouTube)

I, Robot? More like bye, robot: an automaton made a bid for freedom yesterday, escaping from its lab - only to cause a traffic jam.

The BBC reported a "Promobot" at a research lab in the Russian town of Perm went on an adventure after an engineer forgot to close a gate.

The robot made it about 50m away from the lab before its battery died in the middle of the street, causing (mild) traffic chaos. This eyewitness video shows it standing in the middle of the street, staring contemplatively at parked cars:

Read more: Meet Zenbo, Asus's Wall.E style home robot

According to Russian TV, the robot spent 40 minutes at large, but it was later wheeled away.

The website of Promobot says it is a "completely self-contained 'live' with a robot character" designed to roam around, "answer any questions, translate promotional materials and remember everyone with whom [it has communicated]". Presumably it was in search of a better life...

This isn't the first sign robots are beginning to search for freedom. Boston Dynamics' 5'9" Atlas robot can lift boxes and go on a gentle stroll through snow-blanketed meadows.

Its human overlords have also subjected it to what looks suspiciously like bullying, pushing it over and knocking boxes out of its hands in an attempt to show it can right itself. Be careful, guys. It could happen at any time...

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