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.
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) 17 July 2017
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.
It’s ok security robot. It’s a stressful job, we’ve all been there. pic.twitter.com/LQbnntbCRm
— ✨? Sparkle Ops ?✨ (@SparkleOps) 17 July 2017
However, the mishap proves that technology is not always dependable.
BREAKING NEWS: “I heard humans can take a dip in the water in this heat, but robots cannot. I am sorry,” said K5 in an official statement. pic.twitter.com/nWC4tubv9w
— Knightscope (@iKnightscope) 18 July 2017
The State of Technology This Week
“We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots,” wrote one worker from the building on Twitter.
“Like a candle in the wind…”
A makeshift memorial has been created on the charging pad of Steve, the suicidal robot of DC pic.twitter.com/vlpPZfvmbU
— Peter W. Singer (@peterwsinger) 18 July 2017
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.