A hospital in Japan will use robots to help out the night shift

Four bots will ferry medicine and supplies between floors.

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In Nagoya, Japan, a city that once held an entire museum dedicated to robotics, a hospital will soon add robots developed by Toyota to its medical staff. No, they won't be scrubbing in for surgery: In February, the Nagoya University Hospital will deploy four bots to ferry medicine and test samples between floors for a year.

The robots are essentially mobile refrigerators with a 90-liter capacity that rely on radar and cameras to zoom through the hospital. Should they run into humans, they're programmed to dodge them or politely voice 'Excuse me, please let me pass,' according to The Asahi Shimbun. Staff can summon the robots and assign a destination for their medical payload using a tablet.

Nagoya built the robot system in partnership with Toyota Industries, a subsidiary of the automaker that produces auto parts and electronics. The trial run will run the robots between 5pm and 8am during the night shift when fewer people are walking the floors. Should the trial go well, the facility may choose to deploy more units.