Russian Police Just Arrested a Robot at a Political Rally

Promobot / YouTube

Russia’s mutinous robot, Promobot, was arrested on Wednesday for participating in a rally supporting Russian Parliament candidate Valery Kalachev in Moscow.

Promobot became an internet sensation earlier this year when it escaped its lab and stumbled in front of oncoming traffic — twice. Now it’s a political stumping bot.

The arrest occurred after someone called the police while Promobots were “recording voters’ opinions on [a] variety of topics for further processing and analysis by the candidate’s team,” a company spokesperson said in an email. Promobot didn’t put up much of a fight when it was placed under arrest, as video taken of Moscow police discussing the apparently-untrusted robot shows:

“Police asked to remove the robot away from the crowded area, and even tried to handcuff him,” the Promobot spokesperson said. “According to eyewitnesses, the robot did not put up any resistance.” That’s probably a good thing — the last thing Promobot the company needs is video of its robots fighting with Russian police. (Though that could well be the very first thing the internet needs, to be honest.)

Promobot was last seen wandering around Siberia while attempting to play Pokémon Go with an emulator installed on its operating system. Now it’s being used to help elect a member of Russian Parliament. Let’s just hope they give the poor things a break: We don’t need ‘em wandering into traffic again.

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