Robot Designed To Keep People Safe Commits Suicide In DC Fountain

“Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself,” lamented a Twitter user. “We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.”


A Robocop security guard met its watery end after it somehow rolled into a public fountain outside a Washington, D.C., office building and failed to get up.

The android was a Knightscope K5 security robot, designed to be on the look out for crime and alert authorities if it witnesses something suspicious. It also had the ability to identify break-ins and make emergency calls.

As the story goes, the robot, affectionately known as “Steve the robot,” recently began operating and was making its usual rounds outside the Washington Harbor office and retail complex in Georgetown when it fell down some steps and into the water fountain, according to an office worker.

“This is an isolated event,” Knightscope told BuzzFeed in an emailed statement. “The incident is under investigation. No people were harmed or involved in any way. A new robot will be delivered this week at no cost to the Harbor per our service agreement.”

While it’s unclear if the robot survived the tragic accident or the circumstances behind its fall, people on the internet have already dubbed it a “suicide” — after all, it won’t be entirely impossible to imagine a robot getting fed up with humans, right?

Perhaps, Steve was just done with his job. Either way, social media users had a lot to say about the “drowning.”

Of course, people were quick to draw comparisons between the sad K5 and Marvin, the depressed robot from Douglas Adams’ bestselling novel, “The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy.”

There were also several references to other sad (fictional) robots:

This is not the first time these K5 robots have made headlines.

Earlier this year, a man allegedly assaulted one of Knightscope security robots while it was patrolling the company's offices in Mountain View, California.

In 2016, a K5 robot at the Stanford Shopping Center in Palo Alto, California, which was 5 feet tall and weighed over 300 pounds, reportedly ran over a 16-month-old named Harwin Cheng.

"The robot hit my son's head and he fell down facing down on the floor and the robot did not stop and it kept moving forward," Harwin's mother said at the time.

Banner/thumbnail credit: Reuters

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