Knightscope K5 security robot hits child

Occurred: July 2016

A five-foot, 300-pound security robot hit the head of a sixteen-month boy in a California shopping centre, knocking him over and running over his foot. The child was left in tears with a scape and bruise on one of his legs.

The Knightscope K5 robot is a fully autonomous robot used to deter and detect crime, and had started patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center in 2015.

Knightscope later described the incident as a 'freakish accident' in which the child had started running towards the robot, which veered left to avoid the child, only for the child to ran backwards directly into the machine, at which point the machine stopped and the child fell to the ground. 

The robot's sensors failed to register any vibration and ran over the child.

Operator: Stanford Shopping Center, Palo Alto
Developer: Knightscope

Country: USA

Sector: Retail

Purpose: Strengthen security

Technology: Robotics
Issue: Accuracy/reliability; Safety


Page info
Type: Incident
Published: March 2023