Hospital unveils 'robotic pharmacists'

They may not look as cute as R2 D2 and be as mobile and dangerous as the Terminator but these two robots will be dispensing plenty of good will at James Paget University Hospital.

They may not look as cute as R2 D2 and be as mobile and dangerous as the Terminator but these two robots will be dispensing plenty of good will at James Paget University Hospital.

Officially named Dot and Dash last night the two machines will be used to automatically store and dispense thousands of pills straight to pharmacists' laps.

The room-sized robots are part of a �750,000 refurbishment of the Gorleston-based hospital's pharmacy department unveiled by MP Bob Blizzard.

It is hoped Dot and Dash, named after morse code, will also help cut down the department's running costs by making sure all the medicine stored does not go past its expiry date and freeing up more staff time.

David Todd, chief pharmacist, said: 'This refurbishment and new robot technology significantly improves the efficiency and capacity of this department.

'Dot and Dash put away medicines when they arrive, look after our stock control and retrieve stock when ordered by pharmacy staff.'

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Dot and Dash were named by pupils from Martham Primary School's CK6 class as part of a competition.

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