"Why did the diligent civil officer do it?"

Anatomy of a Fall

A Korean administrative robot took a serious tumble down a set of stairs, leading to local reports of the first robot "suicide" in the country.

As Agence France-Presse reports, the robot was built by California-based startup Bear Robotics, and was tasked with delivering documents inside the city council building of Gumi, a city in central South Korea.

But according to witness reports, the robot clerk fell down six and a half feet of stairs, leading to its early demise.

Local media mourned the robot's untimely death, suggesting it had ended its own life.

"Why did the diligent civil officer do it?" one headline read, as quoted by AFP.

Clearly Departed

Gumi City Council's robot was first hired in August 2023, a first in the city. South Korea overall now employs one industrial robot for every ten workers, according to AFP.

What set the Bear Robotics robot apart from other municipal automatons was its ability to use an elevator, according to the AFP, making it useful in the multi-story city council building.

Bear Robotics sells several different models of robots, including a configuration that features adjustable trays to accommodate tall items and packages. A customizable LED panel allows the bot's administrator to display a custom message around where its head would be.

Each robot is kitted out with a camera and LiDAR sensor that allows it to create a map of its surroundings — though that tech was seemingly unable to prevent the bot's fatal fall.

The events leading up to its death remain unclear, but according to witness reports obtained by the news agency, the robot was "circling in one spot as if something was there" before falling down the stairs.

"Pieces have been collected and will be analyzed by the company," an official told AFP.

The Gumi city council has since announced that it's not planning to replace the deceased robot administrator.

More on robots: Scientists Create Robot Controlled by Blob of Human Brain Cells

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