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Self-driving Tesla hits, damages humanoid robot

Chris Pastrick
| Tuesday, Jan. 8, 2019, 3:24 p.m.
A Promobot humanoid robot was struck and injured by a self-driving Tesla outside of the latest Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
A Promobot humanoid robot was struck and injured by a self-driving Tesla outside of the latest Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.

Oh, the humanity. Or, inhumanity in this case.

Chalk up another instance of a self-driving car hitting a pedestrian. Well, not a human, thankfully. This time, it was a robot.

Not to diminish the carnage: It was probably a big deal for the robot — and for Promobot, the company that paid to put the humanoid robot together.

It all went down Sunday in Las Vegas as the latest Consumer Electronics Show was getting set to begin its three-day convention of all things technological.

Promobot told The Daily Mail that it was transporting its robots, which rent for $2,000 a day, to the company's display booth at the convention center. A spokesperson for Promobot said one of the robots diverted into the parking lot roadway.

That's when a Tesla Model S, in "autonomous mode" came driving along.

The accident was captured on video. A word for the squeamish, this is disturbing stuff.

The Daily Mail reports there was a single passenger in the Telsa car, and he wasn't injured.

The robot, however, is likely to need about $25,000 in repairs, according to Promobot's chief business development officer Oleg Kivokurtsev.

"Of course we are vexed. We brought this robot here from Philadelphia to participate at CES," Kivokurtsev told The Vegas Post. "Now it neither cannot participate in the event or be recovered. We will conduct an internal investigation and find out why the robot went to the roadway."

Of course, seeing as this is around the CES, a mega convention that's produced tech innovations as the VCR, CD player, HDTV, satellite radio, and 3D printers, there's a decent chance this could be a big PR stunt.

Even Promobot doesn't seem to be too upset at Tesla, judging from their tweet on the accident.

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