Robotic Librarians Are Coming Our Way

We’ve come a long way in our obsession with robots. From the 90’s kitsch Teksta dogs and Poo-Chi pets and a film obsession with Bicentennial Man-like characters, robots have budded from the fantastical to the practical. Roombas won’t attack us in our sleep. Google AI won’t scold us for our crippled human morality. It’s safe to say we’ve entered an era where robots don’t hold the same awe (or cause the same fear) they once did. They provide help not harm and can be used for good instead of I, Robot style maniacal schemes. In the spirit of this tech-embracing ‘computer love’, libraries are welcoming AuRoSS, the robo-librarian, to their aisles.   

AuRoSS hard at work while we’re hardly working (Image courtesy of Tomorrow Tech)

These aren’t your ordinary librarians. Mostly because they’re robots, but also because they have a wild efficiency for scanning shelves and spotting missing or misplaced titles. They may not be the sexy Alicia Vikander’s of Ex Machina, but they’re getting the nitty gritty tasks done, and saving all us humans from the tedious and time-consuming task of organizing the shelves.

Some day.. (via GIPHY)

The bot was first introduced in the Pasir Ris Public Library in Singapore. In a brief demonstration, AuRoSS tidied up some shelves and received an overwhelmingly positive response. The librarians were especially pleased, suddenly relieved of a tiresome task. The robot is capable of quickly scanning the shelves by using a laser that scans over radio-frequency identitication tags (RFID) on each book. The bot can operate day or night and has a 99% scanning accuracy, even along curved or obscure shaped shelves. The only thing missing is a pair of glasses hanging from the brim of their robotic noses and a surly ‘shhhhh!’ emanating from the end of the aisle. Perhaps a suggestion for the next model?

For more information about AuRoSS, talk to your local librarians. They’ll be the ones kicking their feet up and sipping lemonade while the robots do their thing.


Featured image courtesy of The Chronicles of a Stuffed Robot.