Fabio (the robot) gets fired after only a week - Albuquerque Journal

Fabio (the robot) gets fired after only a week

There’s a lot of talk about how robots will be replacing people and eliminating jobs. Maybe that will happen someday in the future. But, based on what just happened at one retail store, that future is still a ways off.

Margiotta, a family-owned, upscale food-and-wine chain based in the United Kingdom thought it would be fun to test out a robot assistant in one of their locations. Unfortunately, the experiment didn’t go very well.

Fabio – no, not the silky-haired model – is a robot with software developed by scientists at Heriot-Watt University. The idea was to station Fabio at the door of the Edinburgh Margiotta so that he could greet shoppers with high fives, food samples and helpful directions to products. The idea seemed like a no-brainer: a friendly and fun robot with all the answers because it was connected to an unlimited amount of data online.

Poor Fabio. He got fired after only a week. Why? “Unfortunately, Fabio didn’t perform as well as we had hoped,” Luisa Margiotta, the manager of the chain told NDTV. “People seemed to be actually avoiding him.”

So what was the problem? Mashable reports that the robot couldn’t move well enough to direct customers to products and would sometimes give customers incorrect or inadequate information (thanks, internet!). More disturbingly, Fabio would unexpectedly yell out “hello, gorgeous” or offer up unwanted high fives and even hugs to startled shoppers. The result? A bunch of creeped-out customers.

Don’t worry, Fabio fans. The robot is still in its early days and its manufacturer – SoftBank, a Japanese company – says it already has more than 10,000 similar robots in operation at retail stores, cruise ships and even homes around the world, with plans to ship thousands more in the years to come.

Regardless of SoftBank’s plans, I wouldn’t get too concerned about the robot revolution. If the experience at Margiotta is any indication, businesses will have a long way to go before customers prefer to engage with machines over actual humans. Unless that human is the real-life Fabio, of course.

Home » Business » Most Recent Biz News » Fabio (the robot) gets fired after only a week

Insert Question Legislature form in Legis only stories




Albuquerque Journal and its reporters are committed to telling the stories of our community.

• Do you have a question you want someone to try to answer for you? Do you have a bright spot you want to share?
   We want to hear from you. Please email yourstory@abqjournal.com

taboola desktop

ABQjournal can get you answers in all pages

 

Questions about the Legislature?
Albuquerque Journal can get you answers
Email addresses are used solely for verification and to speed the verification process for repeat questioners.
1
Dozens of soldiers freed in Russia-Ukraine prisoner swap
AP Feeds
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Dozens of ... KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Dozens of Russian and Ukrainian prisoners of war have returned home following a prisoner swap, officials on both sides said ...
2
EU prepares more Russia sanctions; Kremlin readies offensive
AP Feeds
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- The European ... KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- The European Union will unveil its 10th package of sanctions against Russia on Feb. 24 to mark the anniversary of ...
3
Don't like Phil's forecast? Check out these rodents instead
More News
Rodents predicting weather trends. Why? Just ... Rodents predicting weather trends. Why? Just as fair a Groundhog Day question, though, is this: Why not? And more importantly, why should Punxsutawney Phil ...
4
Russia hits civilian targets anew, EU officials visit Kyiv
AP Feeds
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russian missiles ... KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Russian missiles hit residential areas in an eastern Ukrainian city Thursday for the second time in 24 hours, while top ...
5
Suspects sought after Florida drive-by shooting wounds 11
More News
LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- The four-door ... LAKELAND, Fla. (AP) -- The four-door sedan pulled up near an intersection in a central Florida city where people were milling about, the tinted ...
6
Ukraine pushes for Western fighter jets after tank deals
AP Feeds
KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine won ... KYIV, Ukraine (AP) -- Ukraine won support Tuesday from Baltic nations and Poland in its quest to obtain Western fighter jets, but there were ...
7
Reports: New grand jury in NY examining Trump hush ...
AP Feeds
NEW YORK (AP) -- Manhattan prosecutors ... NEW YORK (AP) -- Manhattan prosecutors investigating Donald Trump have convened a new grand jury to hear evidence in a years-old probe into payments ...
8
New Mexico’s checkerspot butterfly placed on Endangered Species List
ABQnews Seeker
With more Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterflies ... With more Sacramento Mountains checkerspot butterflies being raised at the ABQ BioPark than found in the wild, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is ...
9
Dolphins, humans both benefit from fishing collaboration
More News
A fishing community in southern Brazil ... A fishing community in southern Brazil has an unusual ally: wild dolphins. Accounts of people and dolphins working together to hunt fish go back ...