Russian robot gets a few hours of freedom after escaping a lab

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A robot ran away from scientists and caused a traffic jam in the city of Perm, Russia. Although that might sound like a scene from a science fiction movie, it actually happened.

The robot, named Promobot, apparently broke free after an engineer forgot to shut the gate. The robot then found its way to the middle of a nearby street, where it blocked traffic for about an hour before its battery ran out. A witness filmed the incident and posted the bizarre situation on YouTube. In the video, a policeman guards the white, humanoid-looking robot while cars swerve around to avoid hitting it.

According to Oleg Kivokurtsev, co-founder of the company behind Promobot, “the robot was learning automatic movement algorithms on the testing ground,” which will be featured in an upcoming version. The company says that its machines are able to answer questions, give directions and even recognize people.

Video: The robot, named Promobot, apparently broke free after an engineer forgot to shut a gate. (Footage courtesy of YouTube/Promobot)

(c) 2016, The Washington Post · Melissa Etehad