A video was shared on Facebook by the page, Gist Me TV Canada, with a claim that the Department of Mechatronics of the Federal University, Ekiti, designed and constructed a robot to serve food in a restaurant.
The caption, accompanied by the video reads, “It was designed and constructed by the Department of Mechatronics, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti to serve food in a restaurant. Don’t play.”
A voice was heard speaking in pidgin English over the video, which translates to, “Who said Nigeria won’t improve, the food is walking towards customers because you don’t need to walk up to a waiter to place your order.
“This robot is made in Nigeria. I am excited about this one. Nigeria is never left behind. It has been programmed and you can see it.”
The post garnered many reactions with 84,000 views, almost 3000 likes, 189 comments and 645 shares.
Some of the comments under the post were against creating a robot and replacing human labour, thereby increasing the unemployment rate in the country. Others pointed out that it must have been expensive to come up with such innovation.
In a bid to verify the authenticity of the claim, fact-checkers at Daily Trust carried out a manual search on the video following the watermarked username on the video and found that it was first posted on TikTok on September 26, 2023 by House of Love doctor with a background song.
The caption on the video on TikTok suggested that it was a restaurant in Indianapolis, USA. The original video was one minute and nine seconds long but the Facebook post stretched to over four minutes to accommodate the voice-over added.
We further looked up the Bear Robotics logo on the robot and the search revealed that Bear Robotics manufactured the robot and has sold it to restaurants worldwide.
The robot seen in the video was named Servi by Bear Robotics company and it is their flagship product.
Bear Robotics is an American award-winning engineering and robotics design company founded in 2017 with its headquarters in Redwood City, California, with operations across the United States and Korea.
The company utilizes AI and self-driving technology to deploy robots to take care of everythin,g from drink serving to food running and table bussing.
Bear Robotics has engineered solutions such as the company’s flagship product named Servi, an all-in-one fully autonomous mobile robotics answer to daily repetitive work.
An upgraded version of the Servi, named Servi Plus, has a cylindrical shape and can hold up to three tiers of carrying surface. It comes with two trays and a battery life of up to 12 hours and can be controlled with an external tablet or attached touch screen. Servi also comes as a mini version optimised for bar running and drink delivery.
However, Penny was their first robot commercially accessible since 2017 before the Servi was launched and commercialised.
According to the company, these robots were designed to support restaurant staff by expanding stations and increasing service capacity without wasting time.
Based on verifiable information, Daily Trust on Sunday can confirm that the claim
that the Department of Mechatronics of the Federal University, Ekiti designed and constructed a robot to serve food in a restaurant is false and misleading. The robot was developed in the United States by the Bear Robotics company.