Supermarket Fires Helper Robot For Being Insanely Shit At His Very Simple Job

Behold! Another dispatch from the end of the world as we slide ever further towards a robot hell dystopia where humans slave in silicon mines under the whip of our android overlords. But this is a positive one: we’re fighting back. A so-called ‘ShopBot’ named Fabio, who was ‘hired’ by a supermarket chain has been fired for being frankly incredibly shit at his job.

Fabio was working at Margiotta, a high-end supermarket chain in Scotland, as part of an experiment run by Heriot-Watt University’s Interaction Lab for BBC show Six Robots & Us. To put it lightly, Fargo fucking sucked at running a shop. Apparently – though he charmed customers with his pre-programmed greetings – the background noise of the shop made talking to him incredibly difficult.

And even when he could hear you, his responses were unhelpful. For example, when asked where the beer was, he answered “it’s in the alcohol section”. Not helpful, Fabio! Nobody knows where that is, Fabio!

After Fabio’s complete failure to direct customers – which is, by even the most generous interpretation, his core job – he was reassigned to the much simpler task of giving food samples to customers. This too he fucked up. As the Daily Mail reports, Fabio became too enthusiastic when asked to hand out portions of pulled pork – alarming customers as they fled from him.”

Imagine for a moment you head on down to the shops to pick up some stuff for dinner, where you’re accosted by an awful robot who simply refuses to allow you to pass without sampling some pulled pork. It absolutely chills the soul. This is what Isaac Asimov was writing about.

“Unfortunately Fabio didn’t perform as well as we had hoped,” said Luisa Margiotta, one of the operators of the supermarket chain. “People seemed to be actually avoiding him.”

When Fabio was told his incredibly shitty efforts would no longer be required, he replied “Are you angry?”

Dr Oliver Lemon, director of the Interaction Lab at Heriot-Watt, said he was surprised by how well staff took to Fabio, considering the fact he is literally designed to steal their job:

One of things we didn’t expect was the people working in the shop became quite attached to it. It was good in a way, because we thought the opposite would happen and they would feel threatened by it because it was competing for their job. In actual fact they [staff] thought it was an enhancement because it was able to deal with frequent and boring requests, like customers constantly asking where things are, which I think they found quite helpful.

We’ve been granted brief respite from the robot revolution. But know this: Fabio will be back. He will be back, crueller and more conniving than ever. And we will be ready for him.