NEWS
18/07/2017 12:22 PM AEST | Updated 18/07/2017 12:33 PM AEST

Robot Security Guard 'Drowns Itself' In Water Fountain

'We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots.'

Twitter / bilalfarooqui

A security guard robot has met a watery end in a shopping centre water fountain, prompting a social media storm of doomsday predictions about suicidal robots and Marvin-related humour.

The Knightscope security robot was patrolling the Georgetown Waterfront shopping complex in Washington D.C. on Monday when it apparently launched itself to its death.

"Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself," one Twitter user Bilal Farooqui‏ wrote.

"We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots."

Others tweeted images of the robot's human colleagues mounting a rescue from the fountain.

The robot is a Knightscope security robot, used by several Californian shopping centres for security. It's designed to identify anomalies in its environment, and then alert other (human) guards to any security threats.

While some mourned the passing of 'Steve the robot', others used the droid's untimely end to take down Elon Musk's predictions that artificial intelligence poses a fundamental threat to humanity.

Of course, it's more likely that the security bot simply didn't detect the body of water -- which is only slightly below ground-level -- as anything other than solid ground, and so drove straight into it.

The Knightscope's company website says the security robots' "autonomous presence" allows them to "guide themselves through even the most complex environments" -- but not, apparently, bodies of water.

But that didn't stop Twitter going into sci-fi overdrive: