As the current series of Dr Who draws to another epic conclusion, there are signs that in Scotland at least, science fiction is becoming rather bizarre fact.
Yes, Forth Valley Royal Hospital appears to have become the first in the UK to use a fleet of robotic creatures to clean, dispense medicine and food and carry clinical waste.
The BBC reports that the robotic porters will have their own network of corridors beneath the hospital along which to travel, while on board sensors will tell them if they need to stop or if anything is in the way.
Apparently the robots are not intended to replace hospital staff - until they rise up and overthrow their human captors that is - but instead free up more time for staff to spend with patients.
The benefit of having robots to do the job once undertaken by humans, says the hospital, is that they carry out dirty tasks without grumbling, and will improve hygiene levels.
The new £300m hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire, is currently testing the automatons before the facility opens in August.
Given the public sector's track record on technology implementations, though, Sneak gives it approximately three to six months before the floors become caked in soup and patients are dispensed clinical waste for their dinners.
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