Robot Librarians In The Stacks

In his 1962 story The Robot Who Wanted to Know, Harry Harrison wrote about robot librarian Filer 13B-445-K, a very curious 'bot:

A Filer is an amazingly intelligent robot and there aren't many being manufactured. You'll find them only in the greatest libraries, dealing with only the largest and most complex collections... The cataloging of human information has always been an incredibly complex task.
(Find out more about the robot librarian)

Several projects are underway to make robot librarians a reality. At University Jaume I in Spain, a prototype robot is trying to get a better grip on books.


(University Jaume robot librarian)

Professor Angel del Pobil sees one of the most difficult tasks ahead for robot librarians is the challenge of mixing with humans - that is, if those pesky bipeds are to be allowed in the stacks at all.

"A library is a semi-structured environment... You can meet other humans, but it is not like an airport or somewhere like that. "So we think it is a good environment in which service robots are out there, working in a human environment, but it is still a controlled one.

The robot is a mobile manipulator with three wheels; its arm has seven joints, a two-fingered gripper and two micro cameras on its wrist. Optical character recognition software is used to read the labels on the books.


(Robot librarian at the University of British Columbia)

The Automatic Storage and Retrieval System at the University of British Columbia is a more structured robotic librarian. Once a student has filled out a request, an ASRS robot librarian trundles through 36,000 meters of climate-controlled stacks to find any of a million and a half volumes stored in 20,000 bins. The robots scan for the barcode that corresponds to the requested book.

Interestingly, the robot Filer from Harry Harrison's story also includes a capacity to suggest related books:

If it was asked for books on one subject, he could think of related books in other subjects that might be referred to.
(Find out more about the robot librarian)
Google Scholar can also help students and researchers find books that are related to the subject at hand.

Read more about the Robot librarian at University Jaume, the UBC robot librarian and Google Scholar.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 7/5/2007)

Follow this kind of news @Technovelgy.

| Email | RSS | Blog It | Stumble | del.icio.us | Digg | Reddit |

Would you like to contribute a story tip? It's easy:
Get the URL of the story, and the related sf author, and add it here.

Comment/Join discussion ( 0 )

Related News Stories - (" Robotics ")

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.' - Harry Harrison, 1956.

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

Cassie 'Halfbot' Best Half (Lower) Of Humanoid Robot
We can always make it limp along if it gets threatening.

Autonomous Concrete Floor Finishing Robot
Keep those construction site robots coming.

 

Google
  Web TechNovelgy.com   

Technovelgy (that's tech-novel-gee!) is devoted to the creative science inventions and ideas of sf authors. Look for the Invention Category that interests you, the Glossary, the Invention Timeline, or see what's New.

 

 

 

 

 

Current News

Nifty New SDS Space Debris Sensor For ISS
'Their radars... could easily pinpoint the debris of the early Space Age.'

NanoRacks Space Station Module Concept Validated
Space junk into space architecture.

Nuclear Drones Could Fly For Years
'I sent my eyes on their rounds and tended my gallery of one hundred-thirty changing pictures...'

SciFiQ Science Fiction Writing Aid
'Books were just a commodity that had to be produced, like jam or bootlaces.'

Robot Only Faster, Not Better, At Recycling
'Whenever a robot finds something it can't identify straight off... it puts whatever it is in the hopper outside your window.'

Poland Starts With 1000 Warmate 'Suicide Drones'
'Royal Security had told the pods to electrocute you or blast you into chum.'

Dream Of Building Your Own Rocket?
Fiorello Bodoni, you inspire all of us.

Zero Mass 'Vaporators' Pull Drinking Water From The Air
Did you think of Star Wars?

Elon Musk Fears A 'Fleet-Wide Hack' Of Autonomous Vehicles
'Khan grinned. 'It's alive! Bu-wahhahahah!''

China Melts Tibetan Permafrost To Plant Forest
'Can you give us a microwave spotlight?'

iFlytek Doctor Robot First To Pass Medical Exams
Doctor shortage? No problem, we'll just use the autodoc.

Slaughterbot AI KIller Quadcopter Drones
'The real border was defended by... a swarm of quasi-independent aerostats.'

Do We Really Want Backflipping Robots?
Also includes wonderful blooper reel.

RNA-Based Biocomputing Device
Living things can sense and analyze complex signals in living cells.

Seasteading Floating Cities
'It was a remarkable island, circular, about half a kilometer in diameter.'

Tesla Semi 'Electrotruck' Unveiled
Elon Musk unveils yet another technological marvel.

More SF in the News Stories

More Beyond Technovelgy science news stories

Home | Glossary | Invention Timeline | Category | New | Contact Us | FAQ | Advertise |
Technovelgy.com - where science meets fiction™

Copyright© Technovelgy LLC; all rights reserved.