There lived a famous scientist named Professor Bob. The opposition companies were keen to steal his secret findings. So he created a robot named Jack to protect the secret data.

So in the night, he kept Jack with the secret data in the middle of an empty, closed room with a locked door, no windows and a table with a glass of diesel if the robot wanted to recharge.(Not possible to demolish the house or break the door)

The robot would kill any unidentifiable person. It had an on/off button which was with Professor Bob. It could not be stolen.

The next morning, when Professor Bob entered the room, he found footprints on the ceiling, the diesel spilt on the robot's head and the secret data stolen.

On the same hour, Detective Chuck investigated and found out what had happened.How was the data stolen? Think outside the box and answer the question.

  • $\begingroup$ Sorry for the bad English. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 10:56
  • $\begingroup$ I suggest to make this question more specific by adding more conditions or guidelines as it may get closed for being too broad or primarily opinion based.. $\endgroup$
    – Ghapla
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:48
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ Something tells me Professor Bob should have hidden the data where he hid the off switch, since it was unable to be stolen. ;) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 20:22

7 Answers 7


Just to list a few possible answers:

- The robot was in it's 'off' state.
- The professor has an identical twin
- The robot was shown a mirror, killed itself by pouring the diesel over, thief stole items and make footprints on ceiling as distraction

  • $\begingroup$ Creative answer. But it's not the answer I'm looking for. There is no mirror in the room by the way. No twin for the professor. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:11
  • $\begingroup$ Thief could've brought the mirror, if he knew about the safety protocol. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:28
  • $\begingroup$ Ok accepted. . .................... $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:42
  • $\begingroup$ Hey Tim the "off state" statement is partially right. Come on twist your brains and get the answer out of your mouth. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:46

Here is my wild wild attempt -

Insight one -

Everything is metallic. The room, table, glass. Jack himself is made of metal. Obviously the diesel is not. -_-


Just like Nolan actually physically rotated the set in one of the famous scenes of Inception (the second dream level, where they are in the hotel), the enemies came and rotated the room in circles using huge jacks and levers.


As the room starts to turn, Jack starts walking to stay level with the ground. The footprints on the ceiling are his own.


The table and glass don't fall as they are stuck with the surface on which they were kept due to magnetism.


Diesel starts falling due to gravity. Now, the table is stuck to the ceiling due to magnetism, and Jack is now on the ceiling (which has turned to now become the floor).

That explains -

Diesel falling on Jack's head. If the villains rotate the room at a specific speed, it can be ensured that by the time the diesel starts falling due to gravity, it falls on Jack's head.

As a result -

The villains can hear Jack walking. But they hear nothing else! They assume the room has nothing but Jack.

So -

They deduce that the data is not stored in physical files or sheets of paper. But is stored in Jack's hard disk memory.


Relieved, they hack into his system and get the data.

  • $\begingroup$ Rotation of the room, along with magnetism, would indeed account for the footprints on the ceiling. Nor is it specified where the room is (would be hard to pull this off with a basement below the professor's house). Though a little complicated, I like this one. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Suitably change the wording of your comment, it is a spoiler! :-) $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:37
  • $\begingroup$ Its partially right though. Combine your answer with Tim's you're close. $\endgroup$
    – Jeff
    Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 12:45
  • $\begingroup$ I have a hard time believing that a "glass table" and a "glass" are metallic. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:44
  • $\begingroup$ In India, we call even metallic containers (from which you drink water) as glasses. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 16, 2016 at 14:46

Tho opposition hired Lionel Richie to steal the data. Lionel Richie is an internationally famous singer, easily recognized, and is thus not "unidentifiable", so when he knocked on the door, Jack recognized him and let him in. He is also known for dancing on the ceiling, which would explain the footprints. In the excitement of having a private dance party with Lionel Richie, Jack may have inadvertently spilled the glass of diesel, and become distracted, so that Mr. Richie could get the data.


The solution is obvious:

The robot is a....

Jack in the box.


Small leprechauns turned the crank until the "ceiling" popped open. The diesel was on the "table" (i.e. the springy platform) and was thrown over when the jack-in-the-box sprang, thus spilling onto jack. The leprechauns used the open lid as a ramp to get into the box (thus leaving footprints) and steal the data. They closed the lid afterwards so it looked like no-one was there.


I have a hunch that

The thieves magnetized the ceiling. The robot, finding himself upside down, made an unreasonable assumption such as the room had been rotated or he was asleep and either tried to wake himself by dumping the oil on his head or drink it upside down. This incapacitated him in some way, allowing the thieves to operate unhindered. Maybe the robot assumed he was malfunctioning and shut himself down.


Combining Yuganka Sharan's answer with Tim Couwelier's,

Rotate the room as described by Yuganka Sharan to get the diesel on Jack. The footprints indicate the diesel also spilled on the floor. Jack investigates the diesel and sees its own reflection as Tim Couwelier suspected.
Jack deduces that it is a reflection and that there is no one else in the room, so the reflection must be itself. However, its image processor could not identify the diesel-modified reflection, so Jack incapacitated itself.

The room is now unguarded, leaving the data vulnerable to theft.


As suggested, you might want to narrow down the condition. For example I can come up with below answers and you might have to update your question to exclude these possibilities:

1) The thief hide in the room's ceiling until the robot's refill time and attacked the robot and steal the data
2) The thief is able to create a remote to control Jack, make him open the door and split diesel on his own head. He then creates footprint with diesel on the ceiling to confuse investigator.
3) Bob is being Hypnotize and the rest go as 2).


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