1. ITV Report

Milton Keynes company hires UK's first robot office assistant

Video report from ITV Anglia's Russell Hookey.

Purpose built in the 1960s and 1970s, Milton Keynes has always embraced the future.

The town will soon be trialling driverless cars. But not content with kick starting a transport revolution, it's now home to the UK's first robot office assistant.

Betty is the first robot of her kind in the UK. Credit: ITV Anglia

She's called Betty and she works alongside her human counterparts carrying out basic tasks to help them.

Like any recent appointment Betty the robot is still in her probation period, but so far she's fulfilled all expectations.

"Betty's been very popular. She came a few months ago for an initial set-up and she's come back again.

People are really excited to have her here. They find it interesting how she maneuveres around, how she interacts with people in the office. It's just really fun to see."

– Alan Nettleton, Technology Systems Catapult
Betty works alongside her human counterparts. Credit: ITV Anglia

The development of Betty and her slightly less intelligent predecessor BOB has taken place at the University of Birmingham.

They're working in partnership on this project with Transport Systems Catapult in Milton Keynes, which already has expertise in driverless vehicle technology.

Doors are one of Betty's limitations. Credit: ITV Anglia

Currently, though, Betty does have her limitations - doors being one of them.

She may not be perfect, but she does raise the prospect of a workplace revolution.