Looks like the type of robot patrolling the Pru isn’t as indestructible as one might think.
The same type of egg-shaped security robot — the Knightscope K5 — “employed” by a development complex in Washington, D.C., apparently fell into a fountain Monday.
One Twitter user said the incident happened at Georgetown’s Washington Harbour, a mixed-use development that sits near the infamous Watergate complex.
Washington Harbour has a robotic security guard patrolling the area, and today, that robot rolled itself directly into a fountain— Ian Winick (@ianwinick) July 17, 2017
Many shared photos of the robot laying prone in the water before it was rescued, as well as quips related to the incident.
Our D.C. office building got a security robot. It drowned itself.— Bilal Farooqui (@bilalfarooqui) July 17, 2017
We were promised flying cars, instead we got suicidal robots. pic.twitter.com/rGLTAWZMjn
Arya Stark: When people ask you what happened here, tell them the North remembers. Tell them winter came for your security robot. pic.twitter.com/ZEz58gT4V7— Ryan Mac (@RMac18) July 17, 2017
It's ok security robot. It's a stressful job, we've all been there. pic.twitter.com/LQbnntbCRm— ?Sparkle Ops? (@SparkleOps) July 17, 2017
A Knightscope representative said the D.C. incident was isolated and under investigation, and that no one (save for the robot) was harmed.
“A new robot will be delivered this week at no cost to the Harbour per our service agreement,” the representative said.
Boston shoppers might be pretty familiar with the robot: The same type has been patrolling the Prudential Center in Boston since May. It was introduced there by the security firm Allied Universal, in partnership with Boston Properties, the company that owns and manages the popular shopping destination.
So how exactly does it work, anyway?
The robot moves at approximately 2 miles per hour, following a mapped-out patrol route within a geo-fenced area and collecting data along the way.
The robot is intended to add an extra layer of protection for patrons, on top of the human security guards already on duty.
“The most encouraging thing about it is that it really can enhance our service delivery and our security program wherever it’s installed,” Caress Kennedy, president of the Northeast region for Allied Universal, told the Globe in May. “It has so many wonderful capabilities and just improves the overall service.”
According to Knightscope’s website, the robot is loaded with high-definition cameras that give it a 360-degree view; it can detect humans nearby and make live or pre-recorded audio announcements to the public.
The robot is also equipped with an emergency call button, so if shoppers need assistance, or are in distress, they can reach a security guard easily.
Dennis Crowley, senior vice president with Allied’s integrated technology group, previously told the Globe that a similar robot in California recently used its thermal imaging technology to identify a hair curler someone had left on at a boutique kiosk after closing for the night.
The robot alerted security guards at the nearby command center.
“So they were able to prevent a fire,” Crowley said.
Officials could not be reached Tuesday for comment on the D.C. robot.Steve Annear of the Globe staff and Globe Correspondent Kiana Cole contributed to this report.