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DC’s RoboCop Commits ‘Robocide’

by Countable | 7.19.17

Knightscope’s K5 security robot was programmed to patrol the Georgetown Waterfront, an upscale D.C. shopping and office complex. It stands five-feet tall, 300 pounds, and shaped like a rocket. K5 can turn, whistle and beep to help human security maintain order. But for reasons we may never know, our journey into the future of policing took an unfortunate turn on Monday as the Dalek-esque robot rolled into a fountain and drowned itself.

When it’s working properly, the robot scans its environment for potential security risks via microphones, video cameras and various sensors. (Future models will include gun detection and artificial intelligence.) Identifying a potential threat, the robot can sound a car-like alarm and report the security risk to the authorities.

"We have a new sheriff in town," MRP Realty announced on Facebook last week when unveiling the security robot.

Proponents of the K5 argue that it’s a good deal for places wanting a cheap security patrol: rental prices begin at $7 an hour, which is 25 cents below the federal minimum wage. Uber uses K5s to patrol certain parking lots. Another selling point is that the hefty robot can withstand an attack and supposedly never gets bored of dull and repetitive patrols. Human security officers may get bored on the job, but they clearly have a greater will to live.

Knightscope said the robot suicide ("robocide") was “an isolated event” and promised to deliver a new K5 to D.C. for free. Hopefully, the next model will be waterproof.

--Josh Herman

(Photo Credit @gregpinelo via Twitter)

Countable

Written by Countable

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(26)
  • Allen
    07/19/2017
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    Well done, Russian Hackers!

    Like (11)
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  • GatewayJohn
    07/19/2017
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    Sic semper robotus

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  • Aaron
    07/19/2017
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    EX-TER-MIN-ATE

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  • RPejsa
    07/20/2017
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    Even robots don't want to work for crappy wages.

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  • Luke
    07/19/2017
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    Aw man poor K5 doesn't even want to be in DC right now lol

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  • operaman
    07/19/2017
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    I'm sure they make RoboCops water proof. But then, when this Cop shorts out, what's another $100K of taxpayers hard earned cash. I mean? This is science and D.C. really knows how to spend money, just view the success of their MetroSystem. Talk about under water.

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  • RunnerMama
    07/19/2017
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    Apparently it had just reported 'everything is fine' then went straight into the fountain. Metaphor much?

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  • Leslie
    07/20/2017
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    Thanks for the giggle

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  • Rick
    07/19/2017
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    How much did this project cost ??

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  • Chris
    07/19/2017
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    I know these are somewhat unrelated (and certainly unrelated to this post) but what comparisons can be drawn from this and self driving cars? I prefer to stay behind the wheel with total control.

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  • Shauna
    07/20/2017
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    Even the robots can't take any more Trump tweets.

    Like (1)
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  • Kathy
    07/19/2017
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    Welcome to our Future I thought watching all these things in Cartoons years ago was just that, Cartoons , lol guess someone was planning a future ahead of us. I need to go watch the Jetsons again.

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  • S
    07/21/2017
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    Can they get Trump to do that?

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  • Andrew
    07/20/2017
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    I'm not too sure how I feel about robot security anyway, especially if they start adding artificial intelligence to them...this robot "drowning" is probably for the best

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  • Johnny5
    06/23/2018
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    This is very sad.

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  • Mark
    07/19/2017
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    So you're saying if I want to cause mayhem wait until it rains. Got it, good to know.

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  • Ticktock
    07/19/2017
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    Yep, rouge one is out of control again just like the self driving cars. What happens when one of these battering rams run over someone? Ops, sorry about crushing your toes? With all the electromagnetic interference out there this will happen again.

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  • Lawrence
    07/19/2017
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    HaHa...!

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  • Vanessa
    07/19/2017
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    Sounds like a case of robo boredom to me....

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  • Dara
    07/19/2017
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    We need to question why we need robots. They are still experimental. We don't need this technology until we no it is safe.

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