Claim: Some Facebook users shared a video claiming that the Mechatronics Engineering department at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, produced a robot serving food at restaurants.
Verdict: FALSE. The robot, called Servi, was manufactured by Bear Robotics in the United States of America. In the viral video, the robot is actually serving clients at AFS Kitchen, a restaurant in Indianapolis, not from any restaurant in Oye Ekiti.
Africa is still catching up with how technology is making many hard and tiring jobs easier, like farming and construction. According to a study in 2021, a significant number of job opportunities could be displaced in the Global South as the development of artificial intelligence is transforming socio-economic activities across industries.
A recently viral video showed a robot in a restaurant serving food to clients who ordered meals. According to a Facebook user, Olola Ayo Ajayi, the Mechatronics Engineering department manufactured the robot at the Federal University of Oye-Ekiti.
He said, “This is a robot designed and constructed by the Department of Mechatronics, Federal University, Oye-Ekiti, serving food in a restaurant.” Since Oct. 12, 2023, when the 3.43-minute video was posted, more than 12,000 users have viewed it, gaining 121 reactions and 26 comments.
Its novelty and possible impact made DUBAWA carry out a fact-check on the claim.
We noticed a common trait in the video: A TikTok account username @house_of_lovedoctor was the sole watermark on it. We found the account and searched for the video. We discovered that he originally posted the video on Sept. 26, 2023.
But his caption did not indicate that he got the scene from Oye-Ekiti or that the university’s Mechatronics Engineering department manufactured the robot.
“At [any point] where a customer obstructs ANITA’S operation, she cries for help. Shop [is] located at 4150 Lafayette rd, IN 46254 Indianapolis. AFS Kitchen.” These were his words about the original video, indicating that the video originated from his encounter at an Indianapolis restaurant in the United States.
We also contacted Ayomide Obiwale, the department’s students’ association president. He revealed that the video did not originate from FUOYE and it was a “mix-up.” He, however, revealed that the university indeed has “mind-blowing projects” that can be discussed should the need arise. One is the mail dispatch mobile robot created by Oluwaseun Martins -lecturer at the department- for his PhD programme. It was launched on Dec. 15, 2022.
We used a keyframe from the video obtained through InVid Verifier Extension (a digital tool used for video/image verification) to obtain more information about the robot and discovered that Bear Robotics manufactured it. The “Servi” robot has been sold to many restaurants globally.
The robot in the video was not manufactured by the mechatronics engineering department at the Federal University, Oye-Ekiti. Therefore, the claim is false.