Internet loses it over Woolworths robot: 'Is this necessary?'

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Aussie internet users have shared their funniest stories about amusing encounters with the Woolworths' safety robot sometimes spotted at the supermarket giant's stores.

Back in 2019, Woolworths started trialling smiley-faced robots that scan the floor for spills at 15 stores.

On Reddit user came across one of the robots, which all seem to have different names, while in the vegetable section.

"Is this absolutely necessary?" the Reddit user said, sharing a video of the robot to the message board platform.

One user said they have one of the robots at their local Woolworths and explained how it seems to work.

The Reddit user questioned as to whether the robot was necessary. Source: Reddit/u/ari-air
The Reddit user questioned as to whether the robot was necessary. Source: Reddit/u/ari-air

"It's not a cleaning robot, it's used to detect spills. It pretty much stands on spills and things that have fallen off the shelf and yells for help," they explained.

"If it even has the chance of preventing an accident, then I say it's a good thing to have.

"I watched him one time scream at a pack of tortillas."

People in the comments loved the thought of a robot screaming, or rather beeping, at a pack of tortillas.

One person jokingly asked whether the robot has a soul.

"Does anyone when grocery shopping?" another quipped in response.

The robots roam around the store and alert staff to any potential slip or trip hazards on the floor and are designed to operate in busy environments, keeping a distance from customers.

"We’ve been trialling in-store safety robots in a small number of stores for more than two years," a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News Australia. 

"The trials are ongoing and we have no plans to expand it to more locations at this time."

A general view is seen of a Woolworths store in Brisbane, Friday, June 25, 2021.
Woolworths has been trialling the robots since 2019. Source: AAP

It's not the first time the robot has confused Woolworths customers.

Earlier this year, one TikToker was very confused when they came across Hawkie, the spill-detecting robot in a Woolies store.

"So I just went to my local Woolworths in Melbourne, and they have a robot ... checking for spills and then it just stops whenever there's a spill on the ground," she said.

Once the robot discovers a spill, it warns customers there has been a "hazard detected" and tells customers to stay clear.

"It's even got its own name badge, like, what?" the woman said.

At the time, a Woolworths spokesperson told Yahoo News the trial was "designed to improve customer safety and experience in the store".

"We're closely monitoring customer feedback on it,” they said.

If Reddit is anything to go by, they mostly find them hilarious. 

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