The day a robot ‘com­mit­ted sui­cide’ in Wash­ing­ton

The Star Early Edition - - OPINION & ANALYSIS -

A ROBOT se­cu­rity guard sup­pos­edly on a look­out for crime in a shop­ping com­plex drowned it­self by top­pling over into a pub­lic foun­tain this week.

Twit­ter user Bi­lal Fa­rooqi posted a photo on Mon­day of two men try­ing to sal­vage a fallen se­cu­rity robot from a foun­tain at his com­pany’s of­fice build­ing in Wash­ing­ton DC.

“We were promised fly­ing cars, in­stead we got sui­ci­dal ro­bots,” Fa­rooqi tweeted. The se­cu­rity robot is a Knightscope K5 robot guard, re­port­edly tasked with pa­trolling the Ge­orge­town Wa­ter­front, a shop­ping and of­fice com­plex along the Wash­ing­ton Har­bor.

With an ap­pear­ance sim­i­lar to R2D2 from Star Wars, the crime-fight­ing K5 stands at five feet tall and weighs 136kg.

De­signed to re­in­force pub­lic law-en­force­ment and se­cu­rity ser­vices, this rocket-shaped model can turn, beep, and whis­tle as it roves the street and mon­i­tors for anom­alies, and has been used in some malls and of­fice ar­eas across the US.

It ap­pears this par­tic­u­lar K5 guard might have thought it enough al­ready while on duty on Mon­day, and de­cided to “com­mit sui­cide” by rolling into a foun­tain and drown­ing it­self.

The in­ci­dent went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia. Some even joked whether the robot was sim­ply go­ing for a swim. – Xin­hua

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