A woman in South Korea was attacked by a floor-roaming robot vacuum cleaner while she was sleeping. The 52-year-old woman thought she would let her robot vacuum do the dirty work while she took a quick nap on the floor. Little did she know what would happen next.
The robot mistook the woman's hair for a mess that needed cleaning. While she was in peaceful repose, the robot gobbled up her hair and it probably would have sucked the woman up whole if it were big enough. The woman woke up in agony, with a tangled robot stuck to her head.
Fire Department Came to the Rescue
She was unable to set herself free, so she called the local fire department for help. Eventually, paramedics arrived and successfully removed the robot from her head. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured in the ordeal.
Roaming robot vacuum cleaners have been selling by the millions. The United States manufacturer, iRobot has sold over 10 million Roomba bots over the last 12 years.
Other companies, like Panasonic, have also created competing models. Unlike the circular Roomba, Panasonic's Rulo is triangular-shaped. According to Panasonic, the Rulo has a more powerful sucking capacity. Should napping housewives be more wary of the Rulo?
The roaming vacuum bots have sensors that help them avoid obstacles and stairs. They are also able to detect little pieces of dust and other debris. Some will even return to their recharging stations on their own.
Be Careful with New Technology
People who come from societies that traditionally sit or sleep on the floor are more vulnerable to getting injured by these robot devices. Families with babies and small children may also want to consider the very real dangers these seemingly harmless robots represent.
New technologies often present new danger that we may not have previously been aware of. Sometimes, it takes time for these new dangers to be revealed. In cases where a consumer suffers serious injury from a household appliance, a viable personal injury claim may exist, especially if the consumer was not made aware of dangers relating to the device, and/or if the injury was caused by a defective product.
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