The idea of humans being served by robots is no longer confined to the realms of Science Fiction, reports the Sydney Morning Herald. University of Technology, Sydney (UTS) staff and students will soon start accessing books from a new library retrieval system (LRS), a state-of-the-art underground facility that uses robotic cranes to retrieve books.
The 13,000m³ facility, which is part of a much bigger building program underway at the university’s Broadway and Haymarket campuses, includes six robots and seemingly endless rows of metal shelves that will eventually hold almost 12,000 metal bins filled with books.
Increased study space, financial and energy savings and better control over the library’s collection are just some of the benefits for UTS, which has a book collection that grows, on average, by 25,000 books every year.
“It was a case of building this facility or building a library four times the size of the one we currently have, in order to accommodate the growing number of books,” says UTS University Librarian Mal Booth