The rally was for Valery Kalachev, a candidate for the Russian Parliament, who had rented the robot for his campaign. The robot has been seen at a number of demonstrations and did not appear to be violent, nor particularly interested in the overthrow of Tsar Putin.
Police have not confirmed why they detained the machine named Promobot, but local media are reporting the company behind the robot said police were called because it was “recording voters’ opinions on topics for further processing and analysis by the candidate’s team”.
A Promobot representative thinks it was detained because “perhaps this action wasn’t authorised” although quite why it was handcuffed shows that the Russian coppers were not taking chances.
After all a different Promobot model made headlines in June when it made two breaks for freedom from a scientific research lab in Moscow. If its battery had not run out it would have been on its way to Switzerland by now.