A fleet of robots is to carry out day-to-day tasks at an NHS hospital, it was revealed yesterday. The machines will be used to transport clinical waste and dirty linen, deliver food and dispense drugs at the new Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert, Stirlingshire.

They are being tested at the £300m hospital ahead of its opening in August. It is the first time a UK hospital will use the state-of-the-art technology, which is already in place in hospitals in Japan, the US and France.

The fleet will be divided into "clean" and "dirty" tasks, with each being given their own corridor to avoid the risk of cross-contamination.