Sad news following our reporting of a shocking incident which shook the Washington, DC neighborhood of Georgetown. Onlookers enjoying their Monday afternoon discovered a security robot, operated by Knightscope, lying interface-down in a shallow fountain in Washington Harbour.
Mysteries surrounded the incident: How could this happen? Was foul play involved? Did Steve—a name given to the bot by mourners—survive the fall or did it drown? Wednesday, however, eyewitnesses reported seeing Steve back at his post, patrolling the area as if nothing had happened.
Motherboard can provide closure on this traumatic event, and sadly, we have bad news: Steve is dead and has been replaced by a clone. The Steve you now see autonomously roaming Washington Harbour is not the Steve you once knew.
A spokesperson for a communications firm representing MRP Realty, which manages Washington Harbour, confirmed on Thursday morning that a replacement arrived shortly after Steve was removed. "A new robot recruit started his Washington Harbour basic training and introductions to the property yesterday afternoon," the spokesperson told Motherboard in an email.
On Tuesday, a makeshift memorial appeared on the robot's charging pad, even as some held out hope that Steve would survive.
On Monday evening, Stacy Dean Stephens, VP President Marketing & Sales at Knightscope, told me in an email that the drowning was an "isolated incident" that was under investigation, and that "a new robot will be delivered this week at no cost to the Harbour per our service agreement."
Hopefully the new robo cop is taught to steer clear of bodies of water, lest Steve 2.0 rolls right into the Potomac River.