A drunk man's assault on a robot raises unusual legal issues

"This is in line with the thinking of Ryan Calo, a robo-ethicist and professor of law at the University of Washington who argues extensively that robotic technology will bring about drastic updates to the law as it proliferates. “Any time you’re proposing legal protections for humanoid robots,” he explained by phone, “it’s important to remember that it’s not because of anything the robot is doing, but rather it’s because of how human beings project life onto these things.”

Calo tends to agree that a person attacking a humanoid robot is worthy of special legal concern; they might deserve a penalty more severe than someone vandalizing something non-anthropomorphic. “The same kind of person who kicks a dog might also abuse other people,” he reasoned.
“If psychologists are struggling with categorizing humanoid robots, then it shouldn’t surprise us that the law might as well,” Calo said."