A security robot named Steve plunged into a fountain by an office building in the Georgetown neighbourhood of Washington DC this week.

Photos of the unfortunate incident soon went viral on social media.

The five feet tall robot, complete with a face-recognition system, thermal imaging and ultrasonic sensors was made by Knightscope, a California-based robotics company specialising in security and law enforcement.

Steve could travel up to three miles per hour and weighed 300 pounds.

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However, the mishap proves that technology is not always dependable.

“We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots,” wrote one worker from the building on Twitter.

Knightscope said it was investigating the incident, but insisted that it was an “isolated event.”

“Like with any technology, you can have a fault condition and an error can occur,” said William Santana Li, the company’s chief executive.

However, it is not the first time Knightscope’s robots have fallen short of expectations.

Last year, one of the autonomous devices ran over a 16-month-old toddler in a Silicon Valley shopping centre causing minor injuries.