Robot lands trainee office manager job

Betty the Robot: Photo credit: John James/University of Birmingham

Something for the weekend: Betty the robot has started work as a trainee office manager at The Transport Systems Catapult (TSC), carrying out tasks such as greeting guests at reception.

Betty runs using artificial intelligence-driven software. This will enable her to patrol offices, assess how many staff members are in the office outside of working hours and monitor the environment, which includes desk clutter, office temperature, humidity and noise, as well as check fire doors.

Using cameras and scanners, Betty can even learn to navigate around her new office space, recognising chairs and desks, as well as moving employees. She will have a two-month trial at her new job.

Betty is part of the £7.2 million, EU-funded STRANDS project, led by the University of Birmingham, which focuses on robots learning how to act intelligently and independently in real world environments. This includes changes in 3D spaces over time.

Mark Ruddy, chief operating officer at TSC, said: “At the TSC, innovation and new technologies are at the core of our business so we are excited to be hosting the STRANDS project. Thanks to our ongoing work on autonomous technology, Betty should feel right at home in the TSC’s facilities. We hope that we can learn from her as much as she can learn from us during her stay.”

The team at Employee Benefits is wondering whether Betty rustles up tea too? An integral part of any office environment in our opinion…