Would you like to be served in a restaurant by a robot waiter? This is what happened when a robot lost its head.
A robot that was supposed to serve wine in a restaurant ran amok instead, knocking over furniture and frightening customers, until eventually its head fell off into a customer's lap, the court of Sessions in Edinburgh was told yesterday. The court was told that during its eventful career in a restaurant in Leith, Edinburgh, the robot spilled a glass of wine on its first test run and became uncontrollable after thirty minutes, knocking over furniture.
It was said to have been erratic and uncontrollable again during tests the next day, when it spilled more glasses of wine and ended dropping its head into a customer's lap, while its lights and voice cassette also failed. The engineer who demonstrated the robot at the restaurant and showed a disc jockey how to use it, told the court:
"It just needed practice, and in time you can perfect it. It is almost like a conjuring trip. You speak into the microphone." But he said that if the batteries were undercharged "the results would be catastrophic, because the radio-controlled signal would be too weak and there would be jerky movements."
The robot stood in court wearing a black hat and bow tie. It looked in a sorry state, incapable of speech or movement. After the case was settled, it was taken from the court on a trolley, its internal wiring detached from its body.