Saudi robot 'Muhammad' accused of indecent behavior with women after groping a female reporter

A Saudi robotics company, QSS, recently unveiled a “male” humanoid robot named “Muhammad,” but the event took an unexpected turn after the robot appeared to inappropriately touch a female reporter.

Muhammad was featured at DeepFest in Riyadh last week, an event organized by QSS. The robot, dressed in a traditional Saudi costume, spoke both Arabic and English.

In a post on X about DeepFest, Muhammad was described as “the first Saudi robot in the form of a man“, a national project aimed at highlighting Saudi Arabia's AI achievements.

During a presentation, Al Arabiya reporter Rawya Kassem stood in front of Muhammad as he spoke to the audience. In a video that has gone viral, the robot appears to reach for the reporter's back.

In the clip, Kassem reacts and gives the robot a stern look, followed by a raised hand to Muhammad.

Users on the X platform accused the bot of inappropriately touching the reporter. QSS told Metro, quoted by Business Insider, that the robot was “completely autonomous” and it worked “independently, without direct human control“.

The robotics firm said staff “proactively” informed all attendees, including reporters, to keep a safe distance from the robot during the demonstration.

According to Metro, the QSS added that it reviewed the records and circumstances of the incident, concluding that there were no “deviations from expected behavior” of Muhammad.

However, the company announced that they will take “additional measures” to prevent anyone from getting too close to the robot in its movement zones.