Blind Woolworths shopper claims the supermarket’s ‘penis-shaped’ robot followed her around the store shouting ‘obstruction’ – embarrassing her and scaring her guide dog Bridget
- A blind shopper claims she couldn’t do her groceries because of a Woolies robot
- Casey Hyde criticised Woolworths for its new artificial intelligence employee
- Ms Hyde said the ‘penis-shaped’ robot stalked her and her guide dog in store
- She described the situation as ‘confronting’ and said her dog couldn’t function
A blind woman has claimed a Woolworths robot ‘stalked’ her through a supermarket, calling her an ‘obstruction’ and scaring her guide dog, Bridget.
Casey Hyde said she was unable to finish her shopping at the Melbourne store because she was so uncomfortable and her support animal was confused.
Ms Hyde has 10 per cent sight and relies heavily on Bridget to complete everyday tasks.
Casey Hyde has only 10 per cent sight and relies heavily on her black Labrador Bridget to help complete everyday tasks
As she walked the aisles, Ms Hyde said the ‘penis-shaped’ robot – which alerts shoppers to hazards – repeatedly shouted the word ‘obstruction’ at her dog – which she believes may have been mistaken for a black garbage bin.
‘It’s designed to find things blocking the aisle and the robot thought Bridget was an obstruction. It scared the dog and also distracted her,’ Ms Hyde told Yahoo.
‘It was confronting for me – the robot wasn’t helping me feel comfortable… I just want people to be able to enjoy their shopping instead of worrying about being stalked by a penis-shaped robot.’
Ms Hyde criticised the supermarket chain, claiming it was failing people with disabilities.
Casey Hyde’s black labrador Bridget sits beside the Woolworths robot at a store in Melbourne as she tries to complete a supermarket shop
‘This robot followed me while I worked and yelled out that I’m a obstruction,’ she wrote.
‘I should have more status. Access and disability is always thought last due to low employment rates for people who live with a disability.
‘Change the statistics to consider everyone. The robot can work after hours as it doesn’t get paid.
‘Please consider disability access in your stores￼,’ she wrote.
Casey Hyde and her guide dog Bridget share a cuddle on the street
A Woolworths spokesman told Daily Mail Australia: ‘We want all our customers to feel welcome in our stores and regret this wasn’t the case on this occasion.
‘We’ve made contact with the customer to find out more about the incident and will look into the details with the robot manufacturer as a priority.
‘The safety robot is part of a trial designed to improve customer safety and experience in the store, and we’re closely monitoring customer feedback on it.
‘These robots operate in hundreds of stores across the world and have been subject to extensive safety testing by the manufacturer. They have sensors built in and are programmed to stop or move away from any fixed or moving objects.’
Bridget the black labrador helps Casey Hyde complete daily tasks like grocery shopping because she has vision impairment