This Promobot saves a little girl from a falling shelf, but many question its authenticity Is this video too good to be true? (Photo from Promobot)
Robots have a reputation for being cold, emotionless hunks of metal no matter how badly Hollywood tries to convince us otherwise. But is it possible that we’ve assumed the worst about these bots? A new story seems to think so. A video made the rounds online of a robot rushing to save a little girl from being crushed under a falling shelf. The heroic bot comes from the makers of Promobot.
They say the machine entered into “mirror mode” on its own and was able to save her life by copying a human action.
The clip, captured in the lobby of Perm Polytechnic University in the central Russian city of Perm, it shows the robot sitting in the lobby, minding its own business. In steps a little girl who starts climbing up shelves filled with boxes. As the shelf is about to topple over, the robot raises its hand and stops it from falling on the little girl. It sounds too good to be true and many think it is. Though the video is convincing many are wondering if it’s staged, especially since the company has had false claims lobbied against them before. Apparently, the same robot has tried to escape its testing facilities twice and once started responding to questions in a profound manner. This is starting to sound like an Ex Machina sequel.
So far nobody has proved the video is fake, but one of the biggest red herrings is that the story is coming from the creators, rather than outside sources. If that wasn’t fishy enough, take notice of the safety rope that’s conveniently moved out of the way, allowing the little girl to run over to the dangerous area. Keen viewers will also notice how the boxes seem empty when looking at how they fall and how the shelves themselves seem to be out of place. They’re free-standing rather than being a part of a larger storage space. Also, no one seems alarmed by the accident, and the girl herself doesn’t seem that worried about it. After it happens, she just wanders off to join a parent offscreen.
Manager of Promobot, Oleg Kivokurtsev said when the incident happened, they were in the middle of a graduation ceremony, which the bot was meant to open. According to Kivokurtsev, the plan was to have the robot “congratulate the graduate students and remind them that future is for robots.”
While the story is definitely noteworthy and grabs your attention, there are too many red flags to take it at face value. While we’d like to think robots would be adept enough to save us in an emergency, chances are this story is a fake. Just remember, be careful what you read on the internet.
I'd like to think this is the real deal.
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