Glasgow’s new £842 million super hospital opened its doors this week with 26 robot porters operating in the basement.
South Glasgow University Hospitals’ adult hospital has 1,109 en-suite patient rooms all equipped with freeview, radio and Wi-Fi. More than 10,000 staff are based at the hospital, which is one of the largest in Europe.
Due to the size of the complex, 26 Swisslog automated guided vehicles are being used to transport items such as food, linen and medical waste using a network of underground tunnels.
A spokesman for the hospital said this will free up time to allow porters to carry out other tasks such as moving patients.
The robots can carry half a tonne at a time and can be sent, or summoned to, any of the first 11 floors. When a robot is instructed to make a delivery to a location they use elevators which are dedicated for their use only, meaning patients will not come in to contact with the machines.
Staff can send materials down to the basement by leaving a trolley in a pre-agreed area and the RFID scanner on that floor will summon a robot to come and pick it up.
When the AGV’s battery level falls to around 70% they are programmed to go to a recharging station where they will be fully recharged within 30 minutes.
The hospital also features self service check-in machines and the Royal Hospital for Sick Children has a cinema and science centre activity walls.
The new super hospital replaces four ageing hospitals across Glasgow. It has been dubbed the "Death Star" by Glaswegians due to its 14-storey star-shaped structure.