Transforming library operation with robotics

MARTINEZ-MARTIN, Ester, RECATALA, Gabriel and DEL POBIL, Angel P. (2019) Transforming library operation with robotics. Paper presented at: IFLA WLIC 2019 - Athens, Greece - Libraries: dialogue for change in Session S08 - Information Technology. In: Robots in libraries: challenge or opportunity?, 21-22 August 2019, Wildau, Germany.

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Language: English (Original)
Available under licence Creative Commons Attribution.


Transforming library operation with robotics

Some years ago, in the context of a project titled "the UJI librarian robot", the UJI Robotic Intelligence Lab developed a robotic mobile manipulator that was able to autonomously locate a book in an ordinary library, and grasp it from a bookshelf, by using eye-in-hand stereo vision and force sensing. The robot was composed of a robot arm mounted on top of a mobile vehicle, and was only provided with the book code, a library map and some knowledge about its logical structure. The system took advantage of the spatio-temporal constraints and regularities of the library environment by applying disparate techniques such as stereo vision, visual tracking, probabilistic matching, optical character recognition, motion estimation, multisensor-based grasping, visual servoing and hybrid control, in such a way that it exhibited a robust and dependable performance. The system was tested, and experimental results showed how it was able to robustly locate and grasp a book in a reasonable time without human intervention. A second version of the system was developed later enhancing the robot capabilities by replacing the parallel-jaw gripper with a three-finger hand, so that book extraction was just one among many possible manipulation skills.

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