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Australia Books Robotics Hardware

Australian Uni's Underground, Robot-Staffed Library 46

angry tapir writes "As part of a $1 billion upgrade of its city campus, the University of Technology, Sydney is installing an underground automated storage and retrieval system (ASRS) for its library collection. The ASRS is in response to the need to house a growing collection and free up physical space for the new 'library of the future', which is to open in 2015 to 2016, so that people can be at the center of the library rather than the books. The ASRS, which will connect to the new library, consists of six 15-meter high robotic cranes that operate bins filled with books. When an item is being stored or retrieved, the bins will move up and down aisles as well as to and from the library. Items will be stored in bins based on their spine heights. About 900,000 items will be stored underground, starting with 60 per cent of the library's collection and rising to 80 per cent. About 250,000 items purchased from the last 10 years will be on open shelves in the library. As items age, they will be relegated to the underground storage facility. The University of Chicago has invested in a similar system."
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Australian Uni's Underground, Robot-Staffed Library

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  • Books? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by hammeraxe ( 1635169 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:15PM (#42266187)

    What are these "books" you speak of?

  • Good investment (Score:0, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:25PM (#42266325)

    I would have just scanned them and thrown it on a 1TB disk. What a waste. Seems Aussie universities are swimming in money, thanks to government subsidies, much like the USA.

  • Re:Books? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by captaindomon ( 870655 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:37PM (#42266441)
    Out of around 130 million different books in the world, only about 20-25 million of them have been scanned. Also, a book and the content are different things. A rare 400-year old book has a lot of intrinsic value even if the text is available in digital format. So storing physical objects in a library will be with us for a long time.
  • by Aaden42 ( 198257 ) on Wednesday December 12, 2012 @06:38PM (#42266449) Homepage

    Why in Finagle's name wouldn't you just convert to digital and keep the originals warehoused in dry storage, sans the robot overlords? Much easier to search, more quickly available, less likelihood of unsuspecting librarians being selected for "testing"

    Oh right Copyright law is 40+ years behind technology. How silly of me

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