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No, robot serving customers was not made by Nigerian university but by US company

IN SHORT: A food-serving robot was developed by a US company, not a Nigerian university.

A video shared on Facebook in Nigeria, which appears to show a robot serving customers in a restaurant, has gone viral with the claim that it was made in one of Nigeria's federal universities.

The video, which has been viewed over 84,000 times, is captioned: “This is a robot made in Ekiti State. It was designed and constructed by the Department of Mechatronics, Federal University, Oye- Ekiti, serving food in a restaurant. Don't play, we moveeeer.”

The Federal University Oye-Ekiti (FUOYE) is located in Oye town in the southwestern Nigeria state of Ekiti.

The post appeared on Facebook here, here, here, here, here, here, here and here. In reaction, some users expressed concern about job losses, a perennial issue in Nigeria.

But was the robot really made at FUOYE? We checked.


‘Servi’ robot produced by Bear Robotics in the US

We found no media reports of such a robot being developed at a Nigerian university. This would have made headlines in the country if it were true.

We checked the TikTok username “house-of-love-doctor”, which appears as a watermark on the video, and found that the video was originally shared on 26 September 2023. But this post did not say where the robot was made.

However, the caption added that the restaurant was in Indianapolis, a city in the US.

Looking closely at the original TikTok video, we saw that the robot had a “Bear Robotics” logo on it.

We looked up Bear Robotics online and found details about the manufacture of the “Servi” robot on its website, which it has sold to restaurants worldwide.

The robot was not made by the mechatronics engineering department at the Federal University Oye-Ekiti, contrary to social media claims. It was developed in the US.

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