Club-wielding woman in China assaults hospital robot

Why? Why was I programmed to feel pain?

Yen Zhi Yi | April 30, 2023, 01:07 PM

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A woman in China has recently gained attention for attacking a hospital robot in Jiangsu, according to Chinese media Jiangsu Morning News.

The video first emerged on Chinese social media website Weibo on Apr. 23 before being reposted to other platforms such as Twitter.

Repeated attacks on robot

The video first depicted the woman, clad in a yellow puffer jacket and armed with an object that looked like a club, approaching the robot.

Image via Twitter/@songpinganq

She abruptly swung the club at the robot, causing the receptionist and other passers-by to move away immediately.

She then shouted at it, dealt a few blows and pointed at it, while other bystanders watched her cautiously.

Image via Twitter/@songpinganq

Image via Twitter/@songpinganq

Damaged robot parts can be seen strewn around the area. The woman later walked in the other direction and yelled, presumably towards a group of people not captured in the video.

The incident took place at the reception area of an affiliated hospital of Xuzhou Medical University, according to the media outlet.

Based on an initial assessment by the hospital’s staff, the woman is speculated to have a mental condition.

A similar report by Boiling Point Video said that it remained unclear why the woman had attacked the robot, but noted that the hospital’s information and security departments were in contact with her.

The police are also investigating the incident.

More robots than humans?

According to Twitter user @songpinganq, Chinese hospitals were apparently deploying robots to carry out hospital appointment procedures, but "[many] find it a frustrating process" due to the lack of human staff assisting patients.

China has been increasingly using robots in the medical field to carry out tasks, especially during the earlier period of the pandemic.

For instance, in 2020, Zhejiang People's Hospital had used a fifth-generation (5G) robot to perform a scan on a Covid-19 patient located miles away in Wuhan, according to Chinese state media Xinhua.

Additionally, temperature screening robots and delivery robots were also utilised to aid medical processes and minimise transmission risks.


Top images via Twitter/@songpinganq