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Wired Article Part 0
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  Today's Headlines
2:00 p.m. Mar. 26, 2001 PST
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Automated Retrieval System   


Click thumbnails to expand    photos by David Tan  

A skinny yellow crane barrels down the track and rolls by what looks like a gigantic filing cabinet. It stops at the appropriate box, and a robotic arm pulls the bin out of the metal rack. The crane slides to the front, slamming to a halt in front of the librarian, and lowers the box to the workstation.

The bins are separated into six sections, with each section holding between 10 and 25 books. A computer has stored the location of each book by section. The librarian retrieves the information, then manually picks up the book.

Boxes remain at the workstation, and when a different book is returned, it is re-scanned and placed into that open box.


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