Scotland's first robot shop assistant fired after internship

Source: Xinhuanet| 2018-01-24 11:06:57|Editor: Shi Yinglun
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BEIJING, Jan. 24 (Xinhuanet) -- Fabio, the first robot shop assistant in Scotland, was fired by the supermarket after just one week's internship, according to media reports Tuesday.

He was fired because he failed to respond to customers' request properly and finish other tasks in time as his human colleagues.

Developed by academics at Heriot-Watt University, Fabio was placed at a supermarket in Edinburgh as a shop assistant, providing information to customers and offering them free samples of food.

In the beginning, Fabio won over customers with his lovely greeting and offers of hugs.

But it hadn't been long before people noticed his incapability in understanding customers' requests due to the background noise, and offering useful information to the customers in need.

For example, when Fabio was asked where the beer was, he could only reply "It's in the alcohol section".

What's more, when he was tasked with handing out food samples on the aisle, he only managed to tempt two customers in 15 minutes, while his human colleagues tempted 12.

Despite these shortcomings, the staff working in the shop became quite attached to their robotic companion.

"When we had to pack it up and put it back in the box one of them started crying," said Oliver Lemon, director of the Interaction Lab at Heriot-Watt.