During a Match, a Chess Robot Grabbed and Broke a 7-Year-Old Boy’s Finger

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When the history of the development of robots is written, this incident might be in the first chapter: a robotic opponent broke a seven-year-old boy’s finger during a chess tournament in Moscow.

While the exact circumstances are unclear, it appears that the child moved more quickly than the robot anticipated, which may have contributed to the disaster.

The boy’s finger was suddenly grabbed and pinched by the robotic arm, as seen in the incident’s video. After a brief delay, the youngster is rescued by those seated around the table, who successfully win the child’s finger back from the mechanical foe.

The Moscow Chess Federation’s Sergey Lazarev told the Russian news agency TASS that “the robot smashed the child’s finger” (via Google Translate). “Of course, this is horrible.”

There aren’t many further specifics, and we have no idea what kind of robot this is or how it was programmed. It appears that it was just intended to move the chess pieces around the board; it is possible that it was unaware that it was also gripping a child’s finger.

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The good news is that, as far as we can tell, the occurrence didn’t seem to traumatize the young man too much because he was able to play the next day while wearing a cast on his finger and finished the tournament.

According to the information we now have, this was probably more a matter of someone placing their hands in unexpected places than it was a hostile robot activity, but it is obvious that this cannot happen again.

The robot was rented from us and has been on display for a long period with experts in different locations, according to Lazarev. The robot operators will allegedly need to consider enhancing security to prevent a situation like this from occurring again.

It is more important than ever to implement safety measures as technology and robotics become more powerful and sophisticated. Tragic mishaps like this are nothing new, of course, but they serve as a stark reminder of the necessity for user-friendly, well-protected human-robot interactions.

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With the addition of artificial intelligence, which could allow machines to think for themselves, there is some worry that humans will eventually lose control over the activities the robots around us do.

We may rest easy knowing that the robot revolt hasn’t yet begun even though this appears to be a case of malfunctioning machinery, despite the fact that it is still quite serious and worrying.

It’s obvious that a balance needs to be made between ensuring that nothing can go wrong that could potentially put people in danger and allowing robots to keep us safer – for example, by performing dangerous or difficult tasks or by being more accurate and less fallible than we can be.   

Ali Esen

Istanbul University, Department of Mathematics. Interested in science and technology.

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