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Britain hospitals recruiting robots for their work routines.

A fleet of robots is being trained at the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire, ahead of its opening in August. They will transport clinical waste and dirty linen, deliver food and dispense drugs.

Forth Valley, of the National Health Service, will be the first British hospital to use these robots, whose colleagues are already employed in hospitals in the US, France and Japan.

A dedicated network of corridors has been constructed beneath the hospital for the robots to move about. Their human colleagues can call them when needed using a hand-held personal digital assistant system. The robots will then make their way to a lift, collect or deliver and return to the lift.

Technology will come to their aid so that they don't lose their way or collide with any object. They come fitted with a laser beam system which tells them, and their human handlers, where they are. Their sensors will pick up objects blocking their way.

There's no way the robots handling 'clean' and 'dirty' tasks will ever meet because each team has its own dedicated corridor. The fleet will be divided into 'clean' and 'dirty' tasks, with each group being given their own travel corridor to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.

Hospital spokesperson Elspeth Campbell told The Daily Mail: "Staff are very pleased. It is exciting to be the first in the UK to do this." They won't be replacing humans, as yet.

The story received several comments from readers across Britain. This one seems to sum up their mood: "At least they wont be ignoring patients, talking about their sex lives and not doing any cleaning, giving people the wrong drugs, etc."

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