What is Robotics?

Robotics refers to the design and application of robots — a form of artificial intelligence. This technology is not new, and the field is filled with examples of machines built for highly practical functions, such as lifting and moving heavy objects as well as for intellectual purposes, including assisting people with research and organization. In both cases, the goal of robots is to streamline and automate processes to make them far more efficient than if conducted by people. While robotics is at least four years away from being in mainstream use across education, the potential applications are vast. In some examples, students with spectrum disorders are more comfortable working with robots to develop better social, verbal, and non-verbal skills. The use of robotics in education and its clear implications for improving workflows in the global economy also lends itself to the development of robotics.

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(1) How might this technology be relevant to academic and research libraries?

  • replacing front-line enquiry/customer support staff (or providing out of core service hours support) - we have robot receptionists at Carnegie Mellon (https://www.ri.cmu.edu/research_project_detail.html?project_id=523&menu_id=261)
    - cmkeithw cmkeithw Apr 7, 2015
  • robotics are already in use at places like NCSU and Chicago where machines retrieve the books from storage that people request. This allows for libraries to replace stacks with a user learning environment and put the books in storage facilities for quick retrieval. - dianeb dianeb Apr 9, 2015 also in new academic library buildings in Australia (Macquarie University and University of Technology Sydney) - mylee.joseph mylee.joseph Apr 19, 2015

(2) What themes are missing from the above description that you think are important?

  • Robots in maker spaces, programming, study aids, disability guides etc - DaveP DaveP Apr 14, 2015
  • add your response here

(3) What do you see as the potential impact of this technology on academic and research libraries?

  • automating physical tasks - see the various 'robotic' storage mechanisms already available - but cost vs future use of print collections may make this a poor investment - cmkeithw cmkeithw Apr 7, 2015
  • Replacing human interaction - see my note above - likely to be commonly available in next couple of years - cmkeithw cmkeithw Apr 7, 2015

(4) Do you have or know of a project working in this area?

  • Lots of robotics projects at our Robotics Institute - www.ri.cmu.edu - cmkeithw cmkeithw Apr 7, 2015
  • add your response here