A robot fled its testing site and held up a ton of traffic

An autonomous robot escaped its testing grounds and caused all sorts of traffic havoc in Perm, Russia.

The robot, dubbed Promobot V3 as it’s the third generation of the Promobot, is learning to move autonomously without hitting obstacles. Some time during its run-of-the-mill testing, the robot escaped through gates that an engineer forgot to close, Promobot wrote in a blog post on its website.

The robot managed to roll roughly 165 feet from the testing grounds where it held up traffic for 40 minutes.

It’s a pretty hilarious scenario to imagine — a robot causing massive disruptions in the street, especially at a time where robots are trickling into our daily lives.

But we’re not exactly buying that it really escaped like Promobot claims.

First of all, Promobot wrote an entire blog post on the incident, the first sentence of which reminds readers the presentations of the Promobot will start this fall. The post also ends with Promobot noting it’s considering an appearance at Tech Crunch Disrupt in September 2016 to show of its latest robot.

If the post were truly written to apologise for an innocent traffic disruption, it seems odd it would include two separate plugs for times you can see the robot.

Also, even though I’m a believer that mistakes can happen, it’s hard to believe an engineer would leave gates open that are protecting a robot¬†that probably wasn’t too cheap to build.

And lastly, 40 whole minutes?! Promobot really didn’t realise its robot was gone for an entire 40 minutes?¬†

Tech Insider isn’t the only news outlet sceptical that this wasn’t just some big publicity stunt. Russian media first reported that the “escape” was a ploy to draw attention to the robot.

Still, it’s a pretty funny look at what happens when robots attempt to navigate the real world on their own.

A representative from Promobot told Tech Insider the escape was accidental and did not occur for promotional reasons.

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