domo arigato, Mr. Roboto

ever go to the library, pick a book from the shelf, browse through the pages, but upon returning it you forget which shelf you got it from? misplaced items are quite a nuisance for patrons and staff alike. this is why cataloging and classification are essential; so we know where everything belongs. whether you work at a large public library or a small archive housed inside a major corporation, tracking down missing materials is just another part of the job description (even if it’s not listed in the write-up).

fortunately, there is a solution to this dilemma: robots. at the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR) in Singapore has developed a shelf-scanning robotic arm to find all those missing books/DVD’s/CD’s/etc. the robot, known as AuRoSS, is able to determine which items are on the wrong shelves through laser-guided navigation. some information professionals program AuRoSS to cover the night shift after the human staff members have left, then instruct them how to get the books back in order when they come in the next morning. the robot will hopefully be a time-saver when it comes to hunting down misplaced records. to that, we will be able to say thank you very much, Mr. Roboto!



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