South Korea records the world’s first robot suicide

South Korea records the world’s first ‘robot suicide’

/ 08:00 AM July 08, 2024

For many years, humans have dreamt of having robots that can perform tasks too tedious and repetitive. However, it seems machines can become overburdened as South Korea records the world’s first “robot suicide.” 

CNBC reported a Gumi City Council administrative officer found the mechanical employee unresponsive after it threw itself down a flight of stairs. 

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Some witnesses said the robot worker was “circling in one spot as if something was there” before the incident. At the time of writing, authorities are conducting further investigations. 

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Robot suicide: Exhaustion or malfunction?

India Times says the robot the machine came from Bear Robotics, a California-based startup. It was part of The Land of the Morning Calm’s ambitious automation goals. 

NDTV said the bot started its “career” in August 2023, and one of the coworkers said it had been working “diligently.” It assisted with daily tasks like document deliveries, promoting the city,  and disseminating information to residents.

On June 27, 2024, eyewitnesses reported unusual behavior before the robot suicide. The automaton was circling in a spot “as if something was there” compelling its behavior.

At around 4:00 PM, workers found the broken robot lying in the stairwell between the first and second floors of the council building. 

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In response, Daily Mail said local media pondered on the potential causes of the robot suicide. One wondered, “Why did the diligent civil officer do it?” 

Another asked whether the work was too hard for the machine. Moreover, netizens shared their opinions. “If the workload had been too much, would he have spun around for a long time and then rushed down the stairs?”

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“I pray that scrap metal rests in peace,” said an observer. On the other hand, officials believe the incident may have occurred due to a navigational error, programming bug, or sensor failure.

The International Federation of Robotics says South Korea has 1,012 robots per 10,000 employees. Consequently, it is the most automated country in the world in 2024 based on robot density. 

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However, the Gumi City Municipality has halted plans to deploy an additional robot in the wake of this strange incident. 

TOPICS: Robot, technology
TAGS: Robot, technology

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