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Robot Commits Suicide In South Korea Due To Excessive Workload

Robot Commits Suicide In South Korea Due To Excessive Workload

A robot working for the Gumi City Council in South Korea was recently found at the bottom of a two-meter staircase, with locals dubbing it the nation’s first robot “suicide.”

The incident took place on June 20 at around 4 pm. Witnesses observed the robot, named ‘Robot Supervisor,’ acting strangely, spinning in circles as if confused before its fall.

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Manufactured by Bear Robotics, a California-based company, the robot was swiftly retrieved by city council officials and sent back for analysis. The reason for its unusual behavior remains unclear. The robot carried an employee card and worked from 9 am to 4 pm, similar to human staff. Unlike most robots, it could navigate between floors and even call the elevator autonomously.

A Gumi city official mentioned that the robot “assisted with daily document deliveries, city promotion, and provided information” to the public, making it a vital part of the city hall operations. Local media speculated if its workload led to the malfunction.

Appointed in August last year, Robot Supervisor was among the first of its kind in the city. According to the International Federation of Robotics, South Korea has one of the highest robot densities globally, with one industrial robot per ten human workers. When asked about a replacement, the city council stated there are no immediate plans to replace the “demised” Robot Supervisor.

This isn’t the first such incident. In 2017, a security robot named Steve in Washington, DC, reportedly “committed suicide” by falling into a fountain, though it was later found that Steve slipped on a loose brick.