Last fall, the New York City Police Department deployed a robot dubbed K5 at the highly trafficked 42nd Street subway station in Times Square.
The 400-pound, five-foot-three automaton, built by Silicon Valley-based startup Knightscope, immediately stood out like a sore thumb, with New Yorkers dismissing it for being unable to do, well, cop things.
Worse yet, it required several officers to babysit it at all times and was foiled by the mere existence of stairs, making it a useless nuisance with no clear upside.
Roughly four months later, K5 has officially been retired, as the New York Times reports, and is now gathering dust in a forgotten part of one of the city's busiest subway stations.
And considering the way people are talking about what was meant to be the latest and greatest in law enforcement — at least according to mayor Eric Adams — it never rose above being the butt of endless jokes.
It's also a glaring example of law enforcement using public funds to invest in dubious technology while firing staff. We're looking at you, NYPD robot dog.
Hilariously, K5's retirement has come as a relief to pretty much all parties involved, with one NYPD officer claiming he didn't want to be responsible for it, per the NYT.
"I described it as a trash can on wheels, but it looks like the wheels aren’t even working at this point," executive director of the Surveillance Technology Oversight Project Albert Fox Cahn told the newspaper.
The NYPD envisioned having the robot deter crime by simply existing and communicating with anybody feeling unsafe.
"This is below minimum wage," Adams said during a September announcement. "No bathroom breaks. No meal breaks. This is a good investment."
But the robot ended up being far more of a headache than an extra pair of eyes.
"Who cared for who?" one construction worker, who watched two officers accompany the robot, told the NYT. "The robot for the police, or the police for the robot?"
More on the robot: NYPD Deploys Villainous-Looking Dalek in Subway System