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Hospital uses robot workers

Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire is set to become the first UK hospital to use robot workers. The fleet will undertake basic tasks – such as dispensing drugs, cleaning and carrying waste – when the £300m development opens to the public in August.

The robots will move around a specially designed network of corridors beneath the hospital.

[quote top=NHS Forth Valley chairman Ian Mullen told the BBC:]Members of staff will use a hand-held PDA to call up the robot to move meal trays, or linen, or whatever. The robot will come up in the service lift by itself, pick up the item and go back into the lift.[/quote]

The robots will navigate their way around via a series of pre-set routes via laser beams. They will also be able to trigger opening doors and know when to stop if something is in their way.
The hospital has emphasised that the technology, which aims to increase efficiency and reduce infection, will not replace human workers, and that a member of staff will need to be on call in case their robotic replacement should break down