Drunk man attacks Mountain View security robot, police say

It’s begun.

And the battle of humans against robots has started far sooner than many imagined — right here in Silicon Valley.

“Police arrested a man accused of being drunk and knocking down a robot that was built to prevent crime, near Terra Bella and Linda Vista Avenue in Mountain View,” according to an ABC News report.

Many in the Bay Area are familiar with this brand of security robot, from Mountain View’s Knightscope, after it achieved localized infamy last summer for reportedly knocking down a toddler at the posh Stanford Shopping Center mall.

A Knightscope robot was not far from its maker’s office last week when it crossed paths with an allegedly aggressive hominid.

Police allege that Jason Sylvain, 41, was drunk when he laid out the five-foot-tall artificially intelligent machine.

“The 300-pound robot named K5 spins and occasionally whistles, so it’s hard to understand why someone would want to knock it down,” ABC News asserted.

Maybe because it looks like a big Weeble?

Unfortunately, the robot did not have a Weeble’s ability to take a hit and not fall down — the device suffered some scratches from hitting the ground.

It did, however, do its job, sounding the alarm after the alleged knockdown, according to the BBC.

“A company employee went outside to stall the man until Mountain View police could arrive,” the BBC reported.

The robot’s foe “appeared confused, had red, glassy eyes and a strong odor of alcohol emitted from him,” police told the BBC.

Sylvain faces prowling and intoxication charges, ABC News reported. None of the allegations against him have been proven.

One local gentleman came down firmly on the robot’s side, according to ABC News.

“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,” Mountain View resident Eamonn Callon reportedly said.

A Knightscope representative told the BBC that the robot’s assailant “was an engineer who wanted to ‘test’ the machine.”

LinkedIn indicates that a Jason Sylvain works as a hardware engineer for a prominent tech company familiar to many Bay Area residents.

So, after the toddler incident, and now with the K5 tilt, the score in humans-vs-robots stands tied at 1 to 1.


Photo: A Knightscope security robot patrols the grounds of Stanford Shopping Center in May 2016 in Palo Alto (Karl Mondon/Bay Area News Group)


Tags: , , , , , , , ,


Share this Post