Drunk man arrested in latest outburst of anti-robot violence

Photograh by Koki Nagahama — Getty Images

As more robots enter our lives, some are experiencing a violent backlash. The latest incident took place in a SoftBank store in Japan, where a 60-year-old drunk man reportedly kicked and damaged a model called “Pepper.”

The Pepper robots, introduced this summer, are designed to understand and respond to human emotions. This intuition, however, does not appear to have been enough to spare one particular Pepper a savage beating from the angry store patron.

The Japan Times, which first reported the story, is brief but does supply these details:

“[The] man was arrested for allegedly kicking a Pepper robot in a fit of rage at a SoftBank Corp. store, police said … Security footage shows the drunken Ishikawa kicking the robot, according to the police. Investigators said the damaged Pepper now moves slower and that its internal computer system may have been broken.”

The actual footage of the assault has yet to turn up but, if it does, you can bet it will offer fine material for a viral meme.

The Pepper assault comes on the heels of another well-publicized anti-robot attack. In early August, a Philadelphia man ended the cross-country journey of HitchBOT, a hitch-hiking robot.

HitchBOT was designed by social science researchers as a way to explore our trust towards technology. The robot, with human help, was able to traverse parts of Canada and Europe, but its journey ended when the Philly man vandalized it.

As Fortune’s Geoff Colvin recent report suggests, these anti-robot incidents may be rooted in humans’ longtime fear of technological displacement, but people are still likely to remain in charge for a long time to come.

If you want to understand more about the rise of robots, this Fortune video has you covered:

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