D.C. Security Robot Drowns Itself in a Fountain

Business Human and Robot hands in handshake.
Knightscope K5, a D.C.-area security robot fell into a fountain in the office complex where it was acting as a patrol guard

A Washington D.C.-based security robot met a devastating fate when it fell down a set of stairs and into a nearby fountain last week.

The act of the robot falling into the water seems as though it was done out of free will. People rushed to rescue the security robot, but it seemed to be too late.

There aren’t many details available but it has been revealed that the Knightscope K5 robot bolted into the water fountain present in an office building complex in D.C.

It is not known what specific system bug made the robot behave this way. Voices on the internet responded by raising questions about whether it enjoyed its job, whether it heard tragic news nearby, and so on.

After the incident, the company that produced the robot posted on Twitter that it simply wanted to enjoy the summer by taking a dip in the water, like humans would.

Replacing Human Guards

The security robot, known as Steve, had just started working at the Georgetown-area retail and office space, Washington Harbour. His job was to patrol around the complex, preparing to be a security guard for taking down crime.

The Knightscope K5 made national news headlines before this incident. Last summer in Silicon Valley, the robot had tripped up a small child, and then drove away coolly. And back in April of this year, a drunken bystander allegedly knocked down the robot.

The Knightscope K5 in D.C. is supposed to be a security patrol officer, and is about five feet in height weighing 300 pounds. It’s shaped like a rocket and has no arms. This armless design made it difficult for the robot to come out of the water after it had toppled into it.

This was something the creators had not expected the robot to do. They’d built the security robot thinking that it could offer a technology for replacing a human guard who would be able to notice misdemeanors connected with parking violations.

It was expected to identify illegal activities and criminals, as well as identify people who drove cars at unlawful speeds. It was supposed to avoid citizens who were following the rules and regulations.

Running into Water

3d rendering robot working with virtual display
The Knightscope K5 in D.C. is supposed to be a security patrol officer, and is about five feet in height weighing 300 pounds

What actually happened was that the Knightscope K5 security robot drove down the steps and entered a fountain placed in the middle of the office complex.

It ended up in a sideways position floating on the water and became immobile. The K5 robot was then removed, and was later replaced by another robot developed by its manufacturing company.

A joke spinning around the internet is that things became too hectic for the robot and it jumped into the water as a kind of suicide attempt. It is being compared to Marvin, a paranoid robot character from The Hitchhiker’s Guide to Galaxy series.

Internet Compelled by the Story

After the event, there was a lot of amusement on the internet about the mishap of the security robot technology.

There have been plenty of tributes paid to the robot on Twitter. There have also been jibes circulating online images surfaced of the robot’s helplessness in the water.

One Twitter user notes that they were expecting flying cars and all they got instead was suicidal robots. Another user sympathized with the robot, saying that it was probably stressful job and we have all been in a similar position.

There were also some other pictures posted on the internet showing some human workers lifting the security robot K5 from the fountain pool.

Knightscope made a statement that the event is being investigated and the effort is ongoing. They have said that the mishap of the security robot wasn’t due to so-called foul play.

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