A robot security guard has “committed suicide” by drowning itself a public fountain after just a few days on the job. The Knightscope K5 robot1, which bears a striking resemblance to a Dalek, had been brought in to patrol the area outside the Georgetown Waterfront shopping centre and office complex in Washington DC. It was found face-down in the fountain on Monday afternoon, after apparently tumbling down some steps into the water.
The K5 robot stands about 5 feet tall, weighs 300lbs (over 21 stone), and has a maximum speed of 18 miles per hour – although it usually moves at 1 to 3 miles per hour. Knightscope claims the security robot is better than a human guard, because it never gets bored of its job. It is equipped with a range of sensors – including a 360-degree camera, thermal imaging sensors, a laser range finder and radar – which are supposed to enable it to move around autonomously.
(Image: Knightscope, Inc./Youtube)
It is designed to prevent crime by detecting abnormal noises and temperature changes, scanning car number plates and checking them against a police database, and using facial recognition technology to spot known criminals. If it detects any security threats, it can squeak, whistle and make other loud noises intended to scare off criminals, as well as alerting the local authorities. In a statement to the Washington Post2, Knightscope described the fountain incident was “an isolated event”, and promised to deliver a new robot this week for free.
Of course, that hasn’t stopped scores of observers sharing pictures of the drowned robot on social media, and casting their own aspersions about why it decided to end its life. This is not the first controversy involving the Knightscope K5 robot.
Earlier this year, police in California arrested a man after he drunkenly attacked one of the robots3 and knocked it over outside Knightscope’s own headquarters in Silicon Valley. The assailant, 41-year-old engineer Jason Sylvain, said that he wanted to “test” the security robot .
He was arrested for prowling and public intoxication.
Extra procedures being implemented at the exhibitions involve increases in security personnel and random bag checks. The move comes as the buying team at US department store Bergdorf Goodman opted not to visit London1 this summer for spring 18 buying appointments, as revealed by Drapers last week . Business will continue through virtual meetings. The decision has resonated with Alison Kilgour, owner of Scottish independents Country Pursuits and Capture Boutique both in Stirling, who said she intended to also do her buying appointments remotely . I know that instilling fear is what they want, but I m not doing Pure, Moda or Scoop as I am worried .
I can do it all remotely and just can t see the value in taking the chance. However the majority of UK-based boutiques Drapers has spoken to said they will continue to visit tradeshows and showrooms in London and the rest of the UK as planned.
We don t have any hesitation to travel at the moment, said Sarah Murray, owner of Edinburgh boutique Jane Davidson, who attends London Fashion Week and Scoop.
I think businesses will massively miss out from not coming to London and seeing the creativity it brings . It s important to be out there and getting on with things. Yvette Davies, owner at womenswear independent Thirty Three Boutique in Lymington, who visits both Pure and Scoop, agrees: You have to carry on . Attacks could happen anywhere but you have to get on with your everyday life .
I always go to Who s Next in Paris and the Paris attacks didn t stop me, so I ll be going to the shows as normal this season. Amy Hall, co-owner at Otford-based womenswear boutique Hall & Co, in Kent, said she will also attend Scoop and Pure London as usual . The terror situation has put people off city centres, but we re not concerned about the current safety level . It won t stop us from going to trade fairs . We ll be carrying on as normal.
Claire Mclennan, co-owner at Monmouth womenswear independent The Square, who visits Pure said: We re definitely going . You ve got to, otherwise you d end up scared of everything and you wouldn t have a business . Of course it s a massive shock when this country is attacked, but I feel safe knowing that security will be there. Trade shows in London and Birmingham have been reviewing security arrangements with their venues ahead of the shows this summer. Nick Cook, industry director at Moda-organiser ITE Moda, said: While there are additional measures in place during all events at the NEC at the moment they won t be of a type which will impact on the experience for our visitors or exhibitors.
Visitors will already be familiar with security measures such as bag checks, which are already in operation at Moda, and there will be additional staff on hand to make sure entry to the event remains as smooth and easy as always.
Similarly bag checks will be introduced at London menswear show Jacket Required . A spokeswoman said: We work with an experienced security company at Jacket Required and are reviewing our security with this team and with the venue . Additional staff and safety measures, including bag checks, will be put in place to ensure additional levels of vigilance at this season s exhibition, whilst remaining sensitive to the visitor and exhibitor experience. Julie Driscoll, portfolio director at Pure London said the safety of attendees is an absolute priority : Like everyone, we very saddened by the recent tragic events in Westminster, Manchester and most recently at London Bridge . We continue to work very closely throughout the year with our venue hosts, the police and specialist advisers to ensure that the most appropriate protective security arrangements are in place .
Our plans are continuously reviewed and updated if necessary. AIS s Indx trade shows, which are based in Solihull, will also involve random bag checks and roaming security throughout the show.
Following the recent attacks in London and Manchester it is only right that we have taken the time to review those existing plans to make sure that we are doing all we can to create a safe and secure environment for our visitors and employees, said a spokeswoman.
Safety is paramount and we have considered our internal procedures, level of resources and emergency plans, and have made changes as appropriate . We have followed the guidance issued by the National Police Chiefs Council and will continue to monitor and review the security arrangements at AIS.
Karen Radley, event director of Scoop said: All Scoop visitors are already met by our security team before walking down to the gallery, but there will be extra vigilance this season including simple bag checks, which will be carried out before buyers enter the show itself.
Hospital bosses are ready to appoint a specialist ‘cyber security officer’ after their systems were targeted in an attack which caused disruption to patients and staff. The Royal Stoke University Hospital and Stafford’s County Hospital 2were among a number of NHS facilities affected during the ransomware attack last month. Now IT experts at University Hospitals of North Midlands (UHNM) say work is continuing to protect their systems along with turning to a dedicated expert. The global attack resulted in some trusts having to cancel appointments, while patients also experienced delays to services
Around 47 were hit with the ransomware, known as Wanna Decryptor or WannaCry . It infected 200,000 machines in 150 countries . The ransomware locked users’ files and demanded 230 for them to gain access . It also spread to organisations including FedEx, Renault and the Russian interior ministry. Read more – NHS PROBE: Did hospital fire lead to patient deaths?3 Mark Bostock, IT director at UHNM, said the threat of infection has gone from simple user error to the more sinister cyber criminals .
He said: The biggest problem used to be from users and that would be brought in by accident . We are in a different world now. Cyber crime has become more sophisticated and we have criminals who can sit on the shoulders of geniuses and use all kind of technology . It has become a lucrative pastime for those who want to make money and those who just want to cause disruption.” Pictured: The message appearing on affected systems last month (photo by PA)
Mr Bostock said initiatives are underway in the aftermath of the attack, including the appointment of an expert . He added: We have 12 projects in relation to improving our position and we are also looking to appoint a cyber security officer.
We are also collaborating with NHS Digital around cyber crime prevention and we are also working with West Midlands Police.”
Read more: Slimmer: prostrate cancer survivor loses 4 and a half stone
4 Mr Bostock also heaped praised on the hospital staff for their efforts during the attack. “The whole team worked hard behind the scenes to maintain our clinical systems whilst also making sure that the non-clinical systems were back online within a matter of days,” he said. “I would like to thank the IT team for their professionalism, dedication and for going that extra mile to ensure that our services were restored to normal as quickly as possible.”
North Staffordshire health campaigner Ian Syme has welcomed the tighter security measures . He said: “I think something like a cyber security officer is extremely important and I believe it is a role that should cover various NHS services locally – and also to help GPs.
“The cyber attack on the NHS caused disruption which had an impact on patient care . The whole system needs to be protected and this incident showed that the NHS is not immune.”
The trust says details of the cyber security role are not publicly available, but will later be advertised on the NHS website.
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