Picture: @whereswally/Twitter

London - With his thick-rimmed glasses, stripey jumper and a habit of hanging around in crowds, it’s rather tough to find Wally – as any small child will tell you.

But trust adults to ruin all the fun ... as one has developed a robot that can spot the elusive character in under four seconds.

Developers have created a machine that uses facial recognition technology to identify Wally in a crowd of up to 300 other fictional faces.

The robot, which was designed by American Matt Reed, 41, has a camera which takes a photo of the page. The faces are then detected and analysed by software designed by Google.

When the robot finds Wally – and it takes an average of just four seconds – he is pointed out with a robotic arm.

Responses to the creation have been mixed online, with one post saying: ‘Do you know how many five-year-olds are going to be out of a job because of you?’

But Mr Reed, who is a father, has taken it all in good humour – and promises not to spoil any more nostalgic pastimes.