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Robot security guard 'commits suicide' in Washington mall fountain

  • Published at 07:00 pm July 18th, 2017
  • Last updated at 07:02 pm July 18th, 2017
Robot security guard 'commits suicide' in Washington mall fountain

A robot has drowned itself by driving into a pool.

The Knightscope K5 security robot was supposed to patrol the Georgetown Waterfront, a ritzy shopping-and-office complex in Washington, DC. The K5 was built to be a crime-fighting robot that could rove the streets and monitor for suspicious activity.

But, in the absurdest take of New York Magazine, "the pressure was too much for the rolling robot, which can turn, beep, and whistle in order to maintain order."

At one point on Tuesday, it had had enough, rolled into fountain and drowned itself. The robot's maker, Knightscope, describes itself as "an advanced security technology company that uses Software-Hardware-Humans to provide its clients with advanced anomaly detection capabilities. Knightscope markets the security robot as better than real guards in part because it never gets bored of what it does.

Pictures from the Georgetown Waterfront show staff members looking to decide how best to fish the now defunct robot out of the pool.

When the robot works, it is able to understand its own environment and judge whether something is wrong, using a combination of microphones, video cameras and other sensors. In the future it's expected to get other features like gun detection and artificial intelligence.

If it detects that something is wrong then it can squeak, whistle and make other loud noises intended to dissuade criminals and others from causing a nuisance.

But the Knightscope robot has run into a number of problems. Earlier this year, it emerged that a drunken man had tried to assault one of the machines while it was out on patrol, and another had knocked over a toddler.