Steve the suicidal robot that 'drowned' in a Washington D.C. fountain skidded on a 'loose brick surface' and is being rebuilt

Mail Online | 7/28/2017 | Reuters;Sage Lazzaro For
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STEVE, the security robot that plunged into a Washington, D.C. fountain while on patrol, didn't commit suicide, after all.

It turns out the roboguard was not a victim of suicide or foul play and instead took a tumble after skidding on a 'loose brick surface,' its manufacturer said on Friday.

Silicon - Maker - Knightscope - Data - STEVE

Its Silicon Valley-based maker, Knightscope, said data from STEVE's 'black box,' as well as video and tests, showed the unscheduled water stop was caused not by foul play or rain, but by an algorithm failing to detect the uneven surface, resulting in a skid.

Work is under way to address the problem.

Technology - Real-world - Environments - Knightscope - Statement

'...Developing state-of-the-art autonomous technology must be done in real-world environments,' Knightscope said in a statement.

'It is not commercially reasonable to be developed in constrained laboratory settings.'

Company - STEVE - Catalog - Security - Capabilities

According to the company, STEVE has 'an extensive catalog of security capabilities' and was mapping the grounds in order to be fully autonomous when the incident occurred.

It said a replacement machine was on site within 48 hours.

Client - Washington - Harbour - Development - Month

The client, the Washington Harbour, a commercial and residential development, received a month's credit and its all-inclusive service policy covered maintenance, repair, shipping, and redeployment costs.

Knightscope said STEVE is being rebuilt 'and is tentatively scheduled to patrol, of all places, a major aquarium.'

July - Incident - City - Georgetown - Neighborhood

The July 17 incident in the city's Georgetown neighborhood prompted quips from many on social media, with some joking that the robot cop, a K5 Autonomous Data Machine, had tried to commit suicide or quit its job, and that it was a 'win' for humans.

The incident went viral on Twitter after Bilal Farooqui, an employee at the Washington Harbour complex, tweeted a photo of the 300-pound android, writing: 'We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.'

(Excerpt) Read more at: Mail Online
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