Incident 51: Security Robot Rolls Over Child in Mall

Description: On July 7, 2016, a Knightscope K5 autonomous security robot collided with a 16-month old boy while patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA.


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Alleged: Knightscope developed an AI system deployed by Stanford Shopping Center, which harmed Child.

Incident Stats

Incident ID
Report Count
Incident Date
Sean McGregor

CSETv0 Taxonomy Classifications

Taxonomy Details

Full Description

On July 7, 2016, a Knightscope K5 autonomous security robot patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA collided with a 16-month old boy, leaving the boy with a scrape and minor swelling. The Knightscope K5 carries nearly 30 environment sensors including LIDAR, sonar, vibration detectors, and 360-degree HD video cameras. The company called this a “freakish accident” and apologized to the family.

Short Description

On July 7, 2016, a Knightscope K5 autonomous security robot collided with a 16-month old boy while patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, CA.



Harm Type

Harm to physical health/safety

AI System Description

Knightscope K5 autonomous security robot uses several environmental sensors and voice commands to conduct security operations.

System Developer


Sector of Deployment

Administrative and support service activities

Relevant AI functions

Perception, Cognition, Action

AI Techniques

machine learning

AI Applications

Image classification, image recognition, facial recognition, self-driving, environment sensing


Palo Alto, CA

Named Entities

Knightscope, Knightscope K5, Stanford Shopping Center, Tiffany Teng, Harwin Cheng, William Santana Li

Technology Purveyor


Beginning Date


Ending Date


Near Miss

Harm caused



Lives Lost


Data Inputs

LIDAR, sonar, video camera, vibration detection, thermal anomaly detection, automatic signal detection, audio

Knightscope Issues Field Incident Report · 2016
Knightscope post-incident response

July 13, 2016 05:30 PM Eastern Daylight Time

MOUNTAIN VIEW, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knightscope, Inc., an advanced physical security technology company, is issuing its first incident report regarding operation of its Autonomous Data Machin…

300-Pound Mall Security Guard Robot Goes Rogue, Knocks Down Kid, Runs Him Over · 2016

A security robot at the Stanford Mall in Palo Alto, California recently went rogue and knocked a 16-month old boy down before running over his leg (links to a video news report if you're interested). Wow, going for the weakest of the herd -…

Parents upset after Stanford Shopping Center security robot injures child · 2016

16 mo old has injuries to leg, foot after @StanfordShop security robot knocks him down and runs him over. #paloalto — Lilian Kim (@liliankim7) July 12, 2016

5 foot tall, 300lb security robot @StanfordShop injures …

Mall security robot injures toddler · 2016

16 mo old has injuries to leg, foot after @StanfordShop security robot knocks him down and runs him over. #paloalto — Lilian Kim (@liliankim7) July 12, 2016

Last week in Palo Alto, a young boy was knocked down and…

Robotic mall cop injured toddler at Stanford shopping center · 2016

Step aside, Paul Blart. There's a new mall cop in town.

Standing five feet and weighing in at 300 pounds, the K5 security robot wanders the grounds of corporate campuses, malls, and data centers in the Silicon Valley Area and gathers inform…

A real-life robocop patrolling Silicon Valley allegedly ran over a child in a mall · 2016

Step aside, Paul Blart. There’s a new mall cop in town.

Standing five feet and weighing in at 300 pounds, the K5 security robot wanders the grounds of corporate campuses, malls, and data centres in the Silicon Valley Area and gathers inform…

Shopping Center Security Robot Reportedly Runs Over Toddler · 2016

This article has been updated to reflect comment from Knightscope.

After a 5-foot tall, 300 pound security robot reportedly knocked down and ran over a 16-month-old child at a shopping center in Palo Alto, Califo., the child’s parents are s…

Mall security bot knocks down toddler, breaks Asimov's first law of robotics · 2016

Robots might be cheaper to employ than humans, but it seems they still need to work on their people skills. Last week, a robot security guard at the Stanford Shopping Center in Silicon Valley knocked down a toddler while on duty and then ap… · 2016

The oblong security robots that are equal parts creepy and helpful with just a dash of Dalek are popping up everywhere from shopping malls to tech company campuses. Created by Knightscope, the five-foot-tall, 300-pound K5 robots roll around…

The Future Is Here: A Mall Security Robot May Have Run Over A Child · 2016

When the Mercury News wrote in May about the Stanford Shopping Center’s new security guard robot, it said the five-foot-tall, 300 pound Knightscope K5 “can remain on the lookout for bad guys while entertaining kids at the same time.” Less t…

Robot security guard knocks over toddler at shopping centre · 2016

A security robot employed to guard a shopping centre in California ran over a toddler, leaving them bruised with a swollen foot and sore head.

The 136kg robot didn't notice when it ran into the 16-month-year-old child and carried on driving…

Mall Robot Security Guard Runs Over Toddler · 2016

Proving that the future is either too close or very far away, a mall security robot in Palo Alto, CA, allegedly injured a toddler by knocking him down and running him over.

"The robot hit my son's head and he fell down facing down on the fl…

300-pound security robot goes haywire, runs over 1-year-old boy at California mall · 2016

The 300-pound, 5-foot-tall "K5" mechanical guard, built by Knightscope, designed to alert security guards to disturbances and detect known shoplifters with its camera, pounced on an innocent 1-year-old at the Stanford Shopping Center, and t… · 2016

Harwin Cheng does not welcome our new robot overlords. The 16-month-old boy was allegedly knocked down and run over by a Knightscope K5 security robot at the Palo Alto, Calif.-based Stanford Shopping Center.

The K5 security robot stands fiv…

300-Pound Security Robot Runs Over Toddler At California Shopping Center · 2016

A young boy was knocked down and run over by a 5-foot-tall, 300-pound security robot at a California mall on Thursday.

Sixteen-month-old Harwin Cheng suffered a swollen foot and several scrapes in the scary encounter at the Stanford Shoppin… · 2016

PALO ALTO — Stanford Shopping Center has temporarily docked its futuristic security robots after one of the 5-foot-tall, 300-pound mechanical guards reportedly ran into and hurt a young child last week.

“We are investigating this incident t…

A robot mall cop did more harm than good · 2016

A roving security robot has been patrolling parts of Palo Alto since last year, with the sole job of protecting the people around it. The robo mall cop recently failed on that front when it knocked over and injured a toddler.

As a cheaper a… · 2016

Tiffany Teng told KGO-TV that she and her family were visiting the Stanford Shopping Center on Thursday when the robot, also known as an autonomous data machine, suddenly hit her son's head and caused him to fall to the ground. While still …

Parents watch in horror as security robot runs over their child · 2016

Palo Alto - A 16-month-old toddler in California is going to grow up with fear of, and possibly respect for, robots and what they are capable of doing after he was run over by a security guard robot at a local shopping mall.

Parents watch i…

Robot runs over toddler in shopping centre · 2016

Image copyright Knightscope Image caption The Knightscope robots have been taken off duty while the incident is investigated

Security robots at a shopping centre in Silicon Valley have been taken off duty after one of them ran over a toddle…

Security Robot Suspended After Colliding With a Toddler · 2016

A mall in Silicon Valley this week suspended its security robots after a collision involving one of them resulted in a toddler getting a bruised leg—a reversal from children harassing robots at the mall.

The accident could reignite fears ab…

Dalek Security Robot Runs Over Toddler's Leg · 2016

The whole point of a security robot is to protect people and/or things, which makes a recent incident with one in the real world (in case you hadn’t realized we’d reached that level of “future” yet) that much more upsetting: A 300-pound, Da…

300-pound mall robot runs over toddler · 2016

For Silicon Valley toddlers who are learning to walk, there's a new lesson -- watch out for the robots.

A mother and father watched in horror as a security robot at a mall in California knocked their 16-month-old to the ground and ran over …

Shopping Centre Suspends Security Robot After It Clobbered A Toddler · 2016

The Stanford Shopping Centre has suspended its security robots following an incident last week in which a 16-month-old boy collided with one of its machines, resulting in a minor injury. A K5 unit. (Image: Knightscope)

The toddler, Harwin C…

A Mall Security Robot Has Knocked Down And Run Over a Toddler in Silicon Valley · 2016

A mall security robot called Knightscope K5 recently ran over a 16-month-old toddler while on patrol at the Stanford Shopping Centre in Silicon Valley.

While the boy, Harwin Cheng, didn’t suffer major injury from the ordeal, the incident is…

A Robot Security Guard Allegedly Attacked Toddler In A Mall · 2016

Last week in the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, a robot security guard knocked over a 17-month-old kid and ran over his right foot. The robot, which weighs in at 300 pounds and stands five feet tall, is one of two securi…

This 400-pound, sidewalk-roaming security robot just got fired · 2017

A five-foot tall, 400-pound robot with four surveillance cameras just got fired from its security job. Right before Christmas.

The San Francisco animal welfare non-profit, SF SPCA, rented the 'bot to roam its parking lot and grounds, ostens…


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