Designed to take verbal book requests, Hugh will be able to tell where a book is kept and show the student to the relevant book shelf.
“Combining existing robot technology with information from PRIMO, the University’s online library search facility, Hugh will be a walking, talking library catalogue with access to 800,000 books,” said the Aberystwyth University.
Pasi and Ariel presented their prototype at a BCS Show & Tell event at Aberystwyth University, and have invited fellow robotics and artificial intelligence students to contribute to the project’s development over the coming months.
“The next phase is to look at how it moves around without bumping into people and library furniture, how it finds out where the books are, how it interprets voice commands, how it displays the information, and what it looks like”, said Ariel. “And of course, in a quiet environment such as a library, should it have its own voice?”
Pasi sees Hugh as being the first in a line of ‘narrowly artificially intelligent robots’ who will be able to undertake specific tasks in environments such as hospitals, care homes or supermarkets.
The aim is to have a working robot in September 2016.