South Glasgow University will task a fleet of 22 robots with trolleying medical equipment, food and linen around the hospital form next week.

The brand new hospital, which cost £842 million, spent £1.3 million on the drones – which have a lift to shuttle up and down the 14 storeys.


In a post on the hospital's website, facilities manager Jim Magee said the robots would help boost patient services.

“The technology is brilliant. For example, the Swisslog Automated Guided Vehicles (AGVs) will return themselves to a charging station if their power is running low.

The robots sit together at pick-up points waiting until they are needed, replacing each other when necessary.

While South Glasgow’s hospital’s medibots were made in Switzerland, the government is hoping that robotics development will take off on British soil to boost the economy.

It has invested heavily in research, but a report recently condemned its silo approach to research which it claimed was wasting funding in excess of £327 million provided by the tax payer.

The industrial robotics market is worth over £17 billion ($25 billion) and forecast to reach £25 billion ($37 billion) in three years’ time.

Additionally, professional service robots like robotic laparoscopic surgeon arms will see a huge increase in demand, generating $3.4 billion (£2.2 billion) to $17.1 billion (£11.47 billion) within a year.

The UK is hoping to lead the pack in one area of robotics however: driverless cars. British legislation means it is lawful to allow autonomous cars to drive on the road, unlike other countries, which puts it at a distinct advantage.

However, funding for firms like Tesla, Google and possibly Facebook may trump its efforts.