A 60-year old man was arrested yesterday at a SoftBank Corp. store in Japan after drunkenly kicking Pepper, causing technical damage to the robot. The Japan Times reports that Pepper was mostly unharmed, though it now moves slower and its internal system may be broken.
The man admitted to kicking Pepper, citing that he “did not like the attitude” of a human store clerk present at the time. SoftBank should consider adding “drunk” to the list of emotions Pepper better recognize.
This wouldn’t be the first instance of robot cruelty that’s happened in the last few months. Last month, HitchBOT, a tincan that wanted to hitchhike around the world, was found beheaded in Philadelphia just two weeks after setting off on its journey.
But if Boston Dynamics has taught us anything, getting arrested for kicking a robot might be the least of our worries. Let’s at least try not jumpstarting the robot rebellion so early in the game?