New East Digital Archive

This freedom-loving robot keeps trying to escape a Russian lab

15 July 2016

Keep on the lookout for Promobot IR77 — a robot that keeps trying to escape from a research laboratory in Perm, Russia.

It first attempted a getaway earlier this month, when a researcher working at Promobot Laboratories left the facility without ensuring the door was properly closed behind him. Seizing the opportunity, Promobot IR77 managed to make it 45 metres out of the lab onto a nearby street, before having to stop when its battery ran out. The stationary bot was stuck there for 40 minutes, causing a traffic jam.

Now the lab team are at their wits’ end as, despite undergoing extensive reprogramming, Promobot IR77 is still trying to make for the exit.

“We’ve cross-flashed the memory of the robot with serial number IR77 twice, yet it continues to persistently move towards the exit,” said Promobot co-founder Oleg Kivokurtsev in a statement to Sputnik News. “We’re considering recycling the IR77 because our clients hiring it might not like that specific feature.”

While it has been speculated that the story is nothing more than a publicity stunt, given that the first escape was seemingly too well documented, others are outraged at the possible “death” of an innocent robot.

Source: Science Alert