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Crane-Powered Book Repositories

The James B. Hunt Library bookBot is a Robotic Delivery Service

— April 16, 2013 — Art & Design
The James B. Hunt Library bookBot is an automated delivery service that uses robotic cranes to retrieve books from an underground storage. As soon as a person chooses a title from a virtual catalog, one of the robotic cranes will automatically dive into the storage to grab it for them. Since there are 18,000 underground storage bins that hold two million, this robot seems necessary. Something out of a sci-fi movie, the system is as captivating as it is efficient.

Located at the North Carolina State University, the James B. Hunt Library bookBot coincides with an overall hi-tech atmosphere. Filled with cutting-edge technology and modern architectural design, the library also boasts a 3D Printer Makerspace, creativity studio that houses the advanced version of the Navy’s Mariner Skills Simulator and game lab.
Trend Themes
1. Robotic Library Services - Innovative libraries are introducing robots that retrieve books from underground storage, improving efficiency and hopefully leading to future collaborations with robotics manufacturers.
2. Automated Inventories - As more companies automate their inventories, they might consider similar robotic storage systems for their warehouses in settings with height restrictions that limit storage capacity.
3. Virtual Library Catalogs - As more libraries digitize their catalogues, implementing robots to retrieve the requested books may be critical to improving user experience.
Industry Implications
1. Library Management - The introduction of robots will spark a technological revolution in library management, creating potential for new employment opportunities and STEM-related coursework.
2. Robotic Manufacturing - Robotics companies that manufacture robotic engineering equipment could strategically enter the library and archives industry.
3. Warehouse & Inventory Management - Companies looking to modernize their inventory management process and limit storage restrictions in height-restricted locations can utilize similar storage systems used in hi-tech libraries.
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