The picture, above is from our site, where we launched the kayaks. The picture, left is of Shirley demonstrating the new robot in the brand new $115 million (+donor support) Engineering library. She volunteered a tour for us , and we quickly accepted. This "Bookbot" is an automated book storage and retrieval system that enables NC State to keep 2 million books (in 1/9 the space) and have them at the touch of anyone with an internet connection. The books are all kept in the drawers, you see below. The machine is 50' wide by 160' long and 50' tall. When a book is called for, the computer consults it's directory, finds the drawer it placed the book in when returned, and then sends the bookbot for it.
The bookbot retrieves the entire drawer to the clerk at the top, who finds it in the drawer, takes it out, and sends it on it's way, either by handing to the person at the pick up point, or some other delivery system. There are two floors of operators, like the one pictured below, who control the machine. They take out the books, scan the bar code, and reverse the process for returned books.It was interesting to note that a book is stored in the next available drawer that will accept it. This means that after a period of time this device will feed the most frequently withdrawn books to the front of the system.
The building itself is an amazing array of multi media, digital video, and computer technology.
We spent a few days kayaking and just enjoying the scenery, running to Camping World , etc, etc.
Here is a movie I shot, with my new WATERPROOF digital video camera.