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A Robot Drowned Itself In A Fountain And The Internet Had A Field Day

Marvin, we hardly knew ye.

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On Monday, product manager Bilal Farooqi tweeted a photo of a robot that drowned itself in a fountain at a Washington, DC office complex called the Harbour.

Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself. We were promised flying cars, instead we got sui… https://t.co/PWYYboiwFq

The android in question is made by Knightscope security robot. It's designed to patrol an area and alert authorities if it detects prohibited activity.


Knightscope confirmed to BuzzFeed News that it was the company's robot but wouldn't say how something like this would happen. The company did say in an emailed statement, "This is an isolated event. The incident is under investigation. No people were harmed or involved in any way. A new robot will be delivered this week at no cost to the Harbour per our service agreement."

A promotional video for the robot depicts it identifying a break-in and helping a woman in a parking lot make an emergency call.

View this video on YouTube

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This wouldn't be the first time a Knightscope Security Bot has encountered difficulties on the job. Local news outlets in Palo Alto, California reported that one of the Knightscope robots patrolling the Stanford Shopping Center ran over a toddler in July 2016. Farooqi did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

To a lot of people on Twitter, the drowned android bore a striking similarity to Marvin, the depressed robot in Douglas Adams' famed novel The Hitchhiker's Guide To The Galaxy.

View this video on YouTube

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@bilalfarooqui The Restaurant at the End of the Universe (1980) - Douglas Adams

@bilalfarooqui Someone must have read it Vogon poetry.

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But it's not just Marvin. There are a lot of depressed robots out there.

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@bilalfarooqui @Justin_Ling Disgusting. Crowd is just there watching. No one even covered xi with a sheet smh

@bilalfarooqui straight from the Daleks in Doctor Who

In related news, a robot named Hitchbot that was trying to hitchhike across the United States was found decapitated in Philadelphia in 2015.


Blake Montgomery is a reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in San Francisco.

Contact Blake Montgomery at blake.montgomery@buzzfeed.com.

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