A HUMANOID ROBOT IN ACTION
The university library team and iCampus each have had their own Pepper humanoid robot since September 2016. One of the robots is called Wilma and the other Bernd. Our intention is to get students that are majoring in Telematics and Library and Computer Sciences more involved. The students should prepare the robots for different scenarios for use in a public learning resources center. Initial playful tests at a recent Browse and Read Event using jokes or children’s games, seemed to appeal to users as well as the press.
Beginning in the Winter Semester 2017/2018, Wilma will be able to give Freshman students a standard tour of the library and also be available 24/7 as a mobile support system during opening hours when the library is unstaffed. This was made possible through further financing from an objective agreement within the university.
Humanoid Robot in Operation 24/7
We are stepping on new ground by putting a humanoid robot into operation in a library and that is why we can only deliver a report from the shop floor. Its presence has already caught the attention of many visitors, guests and the press. Robots in operation will be one of the main topics at the 10th Annual Wildau Library Symposium in September. There will be field reports from Ilmenau and Luxemburg about the implementation of RFID supported inventory and the use among customers at Mediamarkt branches of the Saturn Group.
As a public institution, the library, which has over 100,000 visitors every year, not only offers students an interesting environment and a number of services, but also serves as a prestigious location for the public. Likewise, it can also be a single, emotional adventure or eye-catching experience for high school students planning their college career. Certain moments, like the ones you can experience in the library, can make a difference in career choices.
Irrespective of that, the library team is also working on a 24/7 concept for an unmanned library. This means that faculty, employees and students at the Technical University of Applied Sciences Wildau will be able to use the attractive facilities, supporting learning outside of opening hours. Of course, certain parameters still need to be worked out and stipulated. Even if services will be at a minimum during these hours, a array of basic information is supposed to be made available for users through a mobile assistance service. On the one hand, this service should be able to take care of and monitor different settings concerning the indoor environment such as temperature and acoustics. This information can be recorded and analyzed and if need be, used to implement a necessary alteration. Moreover, it should be able to support possible users on the first floor in an interactive way. This can be recorded and processed via a touch screen and/or through natural communication. It can then kick into action informally or mobile-based on data held in front of it (FAQ’s, for instance). In this way, the user is not left to his/her own devices, but knows there is a buddy around to help. Beginning in September, Pepper, Wilma and Bernd are supposed to start carrying out short tours of the library and be available to potential users in the late evening or early morning hours in order to give them a helping hand. Further stages include such things as Pepper’s ability to operate the elevator, handle the large touch screen and installiation of a battery-loading station for iBeacons.
Report on rbb-online.de of 11.02.2017: "Hallo, ich bin der neue Mitarbeiter der TH Wildau"
Report on radioeins of 17.02.2017: "Roboter als Bibliothekar"