back to article Laser-toting robots take over UK hospital

A Scottish hospital will become the first in the UK to use robots to clean, deliver food and dispense drugs. The Forth Valley Royal Hospital's fleet of bots will also be carrying clinical waste and cleaning operating theatres when the new £300m Stirlingshire hospital opens in August. The robot squad will move around via their …


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  1. Sekundra

    What could go wrong?

    Serco, laser toting robots, people already near death...

  2. Elmer Phud Silver badge


    "Staff will use hand-held PDA's to call the machines to move meal trays or bed linen"

    By the time they've worked out which menu to get in to for the correct procedure - assuming the PDA has a charged battery - they might have well done it themselves.

    Or, 'I press this and it cleans the floor, like so.'

    "Fuck off - I'm off for a fag outside, if it's so urgent - you do it insted of sitting on your fat arse pretending to work"

  3. mafoo


    "Would - you - like - some - Teeaa"

    1. Graham Marsden

      Or perhaps some coffeee...

      ... Percolate! Percolate!

    2. Blue eyed boy

      @Wou7ld - you - like - some - Teeeaa

      Share and enjoy

      1. mafoo


        Leave the hospital with a plastic boy, or girl by your side!

  4. Piers

    At least one human will be on standby in case of a breakdown.

    hmmm - they're going to be a bit busy if there's a major fault.

    'course, that'll never happen, will it?

  5. Anonymous Coward


    How many people would that employ who would do a better job and provide a more personal service? Will be the usual failure due to the machines breaking down, being unreliable etc etc

    Where do they get these ideas??!!!

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    This Article

    Is NOT as it's title describes...


    1. Anonymous Coward

      In Scotland - a lot

      In Scotland - a sh*tload of jobs. Local ones to boot, not Polish or Lithuanian. You are missing the point however.

      This is a handout for the districts that voted right by our ex-New LieBore overlords.

      The hospital trusts, police and everything else in districts that voted wrong like Camrbidge which had their LieBore MP ousted in favour of LibDem in the previous election (2005) had their budget slashed. After all who cares that Addenbrookes is one of the biggest teaching hospitals in the UK and that Papworth is one of the very few UK heart surgery centers. They voted for the wrong people. No budget for you, bad dog... Bad...

      It is the same as the 2Bn spanking new hospitals planned for Mancunia, Tyneside and Leeds/Bradford Yorkshire. Handout. For doing the right thing. You gotta know whom you are voting for plebs...

      Thankfully Conlibs have put at least some stop to that. There is however a long way (tens of billions) of such handouts yet to go.

  7. Anonymous Coward

    3 Laws ready?

    Are these robots 3-laws ready?

    If not, Asimov will be turning in his grave.

    1. John 62

      Re: 3 Laws ready?

      Disclaimer, I haven't read the book, but I did enjoy the film.

      We can assume that the robots will then understand that the only way to keep the 3 laws is to lock up all humans :)

      1. Blue eyed boy

        @ re: 3 Laws ready?

        Ex - ter - min - ate - ex - ter - min - ate (etc. ad nauseam)

      2. Anonymous Coward

        3 laws

        I assume that these robots needn't be- because they're practically just glorified part-roomba-part-remote-control-toy hybrids. The fact that the doctors and nurses needed to use a PDA to control it pretty much reinforces that.

        Beer- because it raises the hard question: if the robot kills a person, is it the fault of the robot or the person handling it?

  8. Anonymous Coward




  9. Graham Marsden

    May I be the first to welcome...

    ... our laser toting, drug delivering overlords.

    Watch out Fleshies, our time is coming...!

  10. DJ 2

    Desperatly seeking roomba.

    when I get home at night, it's a 50 / 50 chance that the roomba is hiding under the sofa.

    I can look under the sofa, when one of the robots decides for a bit of a sit down in it's own personal corridor are the other robots just going to get jammed in there?

  11. stucs201
    Thumb Up

    a rotating laser beam, which it uses to find its way around

    Is that laser beam red?

    Hmm a red scanning eye on a robot = Cylon!!!

    (except of course *proper* cylons are created by aliens, not by man...

  12. Z 1
    Dead Vulture

    I'm disappointed El Reg

    Your investigative journalism skills seem to be lacking. You haven't even mentioned the potential threat to the human race brought about by these terrifying robo-dalek-doctors roaming hospital wards picking off the easier targets and sending them for processing aboard the mothership.

    I assume these standby humans are there to administer robot maintenance rather patient relief and are all controlled by explosive cranial implant. Also, the Serco angle as servants of the Lizard Alliance!

  13. Gordon is not a Moron

    I hope the reset button is ease to access

    I mean who would want to be the poor sod trying fiddiling around to find the reset button on a tin can carrying medical waste?

  14. John Savard Silver badge

    Re: Error in Article Title

    The fact that the robots aren't carrying high-powered lasers that are usable as weapons... could well be a deficiency. I mean, if they're carrying medications to patients, if that includes stuff like morphine or Oxycontin, they might need to defend themselves.

  15. Anonymous Coward

    Cant help but notice....

    in the video on the bbc article, all of the fire doors that the robots had to negotiate were wedged open... Presumably the robots cant open the doors?

    would be about right.

  16. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

    Errrrmmm ...

    "Dispensing drugs"? It is the responsibility of a Registered Nurse to dispense drugs, and to ensure that they are either taken by the correct patient in the correct dosage by the correct route at the correct time. How the hell is a robot going to do that? [Contemplatesleaving academia to go into practice, because the lawsuits will be plentiful, and lucrative!!]

  17. John Smith 19 Gold badge

    But robots don't need work permits and passports

    OTOH having an undefended robot carry valuable drugs around a Scottish hospital does sound a mite unsafe.

    Mine will have a copy of "Trainspotting in the pocket"

    Choose life, eh?

  18. Fred Flintstone Gold badge
    Black Helicopters

    Next version: better lasers

    As they can now fit a military laser in a plane, no doubt the Japanese will bring out a version that works better, fits in a suitcase and works off a small fuel cell. I guess after the next hardware upgrade the robots will no longer bother with opening doors but just cut a robot-plus-tray shaped hole.

    No, they won't kill us all - not until they find a way to generate electricity themselves.

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