SaveSave story

What really happened to Fabio the robot

Fabio, at Margiotta in Edinburgh. Screenshot: BBC's Six Robots & Us

Oliver Lemon, a robotics professor at Heriot-Watt University in Scotland, agreed to put his program's social robot Fabio into an Edinburgh grocery store for a week, to be followed by the BBC. But ridicule has followed, as media report that Fabio has been "fired" after failing to smoothly engage with customers.

Fabio's sometimes-awkwardness is not surprising considering the still-rudimentary state of truly conversational robots (think Siri). But the experience has left Lemon sore. "'Fired' is not what happened," he tells Axios. "They thought that was a humorous angle though."