Parents upset after Palo Alto security robot injures child

ByLilian Kim KGO logo
Tuesday, July 12, 2016
Parents upset after Stanford Shopping Center security robot injures child
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The parents of a young boy who got knocked down and run over by a security robot at Stanford Shopping Center want to get the word out to prevent others from getting hurt.

PALO ALTO, Calif. -- A young boy was knocked down and run over by a security robot in Palo Alto, according to his parents.

The parents of 16-month-old Harwin Cheng said the boy had a frightening run-in with the robot at Stanford Shopping Center on Thursday.

"The robot hit my son's head and he fell down, facing down on the floor, and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward," Harwin's mother Tiffany Teng explained.

The robot, which stands 5-feet-tall and weighs 300 pounds, usually amuses shoppers of all ages, but Harwin's parents said that wasn't the case during their encounter.

Harwin had his right foot ran over by the robot, causing it to swell, according to Harwin's parents.

He also received a scrape on his leg, but his parents said luckily Harwin didn't suffer any broken bones.

"He was crying like crazy and he never cries. He seldom cries," Teng said.

The robot, which was introduced at the shopping center in 2015, was designed to alert authorities of abnormal noises, sudden environmental changes, and known criminals.

But the fact that Harwin's parents said it didn't detect him was something disconcerting.

Harwin's parents said a security guard also told them another child was hurt from the same robot just days before.

They hoped by sharing their story, other parents would use caution around the robot the next time they're at Stanford Shopping Center.

Stanford Shopping Center and Knightscope, the company that built the robot, could not be reached for comment.