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"Last June, the Mansueto Library at the University of Chicago, which accumulates about 150,000 books every year, introduced a system of robotic stacks capable of holding 3.5 million volumes in one seventh the space required by conventional stacks. The trick: Librarians sort books by size and not by Dewey decimal system. Engineers from Dematic, a firm that builds automated parts and storage-retrieval systems for Boeing, Ford and IBM, designed a five-story underground storage area managed by five robotic cranes. Dematic has built 17 automated library systems worldwide, but the University of Chicago’s is the most complex. The company has three more libraries under construction."

How It Works: Underground Robot Library

http://www.popsci.com/content/underground-robot-library +Derrick Jefferson +Edythe O.
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13 comments
 
Interesting that a university catalogs by Dewey. In my experience, most use Library of Congress. In any event, very cool.
 
Yeah, but how long before step 3 will be eliminated via automation?
 
Yeah, when I read this a week ago, I thought the same thing. Why was this designed with humans in step 3?
 
It seems the humans in step 3 are picking out a book to go to step 4...which looks like the reading area. Maybe?
 
Sweet welcome to the 21st century!
 
Haven't they heard of pdf's and kindles and stuff?
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