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Russian Robot Brings Traffic to a Halt After Second Escape

A self-learning robot has escaped a Russian lab for a second time – only to bring traffic to a stand-still when its battery died.

The droid, named Promobot IR77, is getting a reputation as a real life Johnny 5 (for those old enough to get the reference) and just like Steve Guttenberg’s best mate in Short Circuit this one has an artificial intelligence that can also recognise names and faces or the people he meets as well as learn and repeat tasks from memory – meaning it’s virtually alive. And escaping the high tech lab developing him is a trick he’s getting quite familiar with, having already made a break for freedom once before!

Residents of Perm, Russia were witness to the truly bizarre sight when Promobot finally ran out of charge while trying to cross a road after a 45 minute dash across the city. When the battery hit critical the robot came to a halt causing traffic chaos and the police came to bring the bot in. Thankfully the whole scene was caught on camera, actually posted on the Promobot YouTube channel and brought to the attention of the internet via British red-top The Mirror.

The sad news is that after being reprogrammed a number of times Promobot, who is designed for customer relations, still yearns for his freedom and his makers have considered sending him to the scrap heap rather than allow him his liberation.

In other robot news, the robot football world cup – aptly nicknamed the “RoboCup” – is about to get underway in Leipzig, Germany. We imagine the droids might be a bit livelier and more spirited than our England team so we’d happily support this type of sporting event over the real deal!

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