security robot drown itself

Screengrab via Bilal Farooqui/Twitter

The sad death of a security robot has the internet asking questions

Theories run rampant as people on social media demand answers.


Phillip Tracy

Internet Culture

Published Jul 18, 2017   Updated May 22, 2021, 11:32 pm CDT

A security robot in Washington D.C. drowned itself in a fountain and the internet is going crazy searching for the motive that led to its untimely demise.

Gut-wrenching images of the scene were first posted to Twitter by Bilal Farooqui and discovered by CNET. Our first depressing look shows the K5 robot laying motionless, face down in the fountain of an office building.

The entire scene looks like it’s out of a movie set in a world where robots are our equals. Next to the robot are two security guards looking a lot like detectives investigating a crime scene. Behind them are concerned bystanders on their phones who I like to imagine are contacting loved ones to tell them they’re OK.

But what happened to our security cop friend? It was only a few days ago when it looked excited to start its new job. Heck, it already made some friends in town.

It was also given time in the spotlight when MRP Realty posted about its arrival on the company’s Facebook page.

That's right, folks – we have a new sheriff in town. . . . in the form of a robot! We're super excited to announce our…

Posted by MRP REALTY on Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The robot looked set to succeed in its new job. And then, in what looks like a mini version of a spacecraft water landing…

One of the many theories surrounding the robot’s apparent suicide is that it was burdened by the healthcare fiasco going on down the road from where the incident took place.

A related theory is it never got the care it needed, raising serious (not really) questions about what sort of resources our country has in place for robots.

As you can see, most theories claim the incident is an outcome of our times.

Others say the robot was simply bored. Maybe the 30th anniversary of Robocop made it realized it was more Paul Blart.

My money is on this mysterious short story created by one rival robot and read to our friendly victim by Twitter user “law dog, esq.”

Others think it was pushed into the fountain.

One thing we do know is the robot world is in mourning.

If it’s any consolation, technology can almost always be brought back to life.

Update 12:17pm CT, July 18: Knightscope, the company that built the robot, told the Daily Dot the “isolated incident” is being investigated and a new robot will be delivered to the office building at no cost. It also claims that whatever transpired did not harm or involve any humans.

Share this article
*First Published: Jul 18, 2017, 11:26 am CDT