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Robot gets sick of cleaning, commits gadget ‘suicide’

November 13th, 2013 Category: Building Management

A robotic cleaning gadget got so sick of cleaning that it ‘committed suicide’ by switching itself off and moved onto a kitchen hotplate, reports have speculated.

Firemen were called to a house fire in Austria due to the self-destructive robot, and say they found its remains on the hotplate.

Helmut Kneiwassar, a fireman who attended the scene, explained: "The home-owner had put the small robot on the work surface to clean up some spilled cereal.

"Once the robot had done its job it was switched off but left on the kitchen sideboard. The 44-year-old house owner together with his wife and son then left the house and were not home when the robot set off.”

However, the gadget somehow reactivated itself shortly after and trundled along the work surface, pushing a cooking pot out of the way, to access the hotplate where it would meet its demise.

He added: "It pretty quickly started to melt underneath and then stuck to the kitchen hotplate. It then caught fire. By the time we arrived, it was just a pile of ash.”

The whole building had to be evacuated as a result of the rogue robot, and the flat where the incident had occurred saw severe smoke damage.

Mr Kneiwassar added: "I don't know about the allegations of a robot suicide but the homeowner is insistent that the device was switched off – it's a mystery how it came to be activated and ended up making its way to the hotplate."

The family are now homeless as their apartment is too smoke damaged to be habitable.

Homeowner Gernot Hackl, 44, said that he intended to sue for compensation.

“I would never buy one again, you buy them to keep the place clean, not almost burn it down and ruin everything," he said.

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