A Robotic Library System for an Off-Site Shelving Facility
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This paper describes a unique robotics project, Comprehensive Access to Printed Materials (CAPM), within the context of libraries. As libraries provide a growing array of digital library services and resources, they continue to acquire large quantities of printed material. This combined pressure of providing electronic and print-based resources and services has led to severe space constraints for many libraries, especially academic research libraries. Consequently, many libraries have built or plan to build off-site shelving facilities to accommodate printed materials. An autonomous mobile robotic library system has been developed to retrieve items from bookshelves and carry them to scanning stations located in the off-site shelving facility. In subsequent stages, remote users will be able to trigger this process through a web interface in order to achieve real-time browsing of printed materials. Enhanced commercial robot systems are used in this project. The developments of the robot design, control systems, simulations, experiments and results are presented.