Tag Archives: SIlicon Valley

Google has created a robot that can carry books from homes back to the library

2019-04-18

Google experimental lab has developed an autonomous robot that can pick up books from homes. The small robot moves along pavements in Mountain View (in Silicon Valley, California), and visits houses where books are waiting to be returned.
Book Bot robot in Mountain View, Silicon Valley, California
The robot makes its round in the neighborhood near the Mountain View Library once a week. People who are living in that neighborhood can ask (via the internet) the robot to make a visit to their house. Books must be dropped into a container on top of the robot, but that’s about it. The robot is ready to continue its journey to the next place.

The robot notifies of its arrival by sending a text message to the person who ordered the pickup.
Book Bot library robot by Google
When the robot returns to the library, personnel manages the actual book return process.

What next? Well, we would like have a robot that can loan books from a library for us. The robot should have a little bit of artificial intelligence so that it knows what we like to read, so that it can surprise us with its perfect book recommendations.

If you happen to live near the Mountain View library, here are instructions for asking the bot to visit you.

Mercury News captured a video when the robot rolled along the neighborhood streets:

The specifications of the current Book Bot:

Dimensions: Length 71 cm / 28 inches x Width 45/18 x Height 81/32 (without antennas, flag for visibility, or arm for operating crosswalk buttons).
Weight: 45 kg /100 lbs. unloaded, maximum 68 kg/150 lbs. loaded.
Maximum speed: 7 kmh /4.5 mph.

ActuaLitte reported about the BookBot first.

Ebook news digest: best writing apps of 2018, Kindle as an agent of change, travel writing as a career

2018-01-01

News on ebooks, writing and publishing

writer's eyeglasses on computer keyboard
The Best Writing Apps of 2018
PC Mag

The PC Mag article introduces a bunch of writing applications designed for novel, screen, or distraction-free writing. The article features a fine selection of apps, but if you want to find the best free distraction-free writing apps, read this article.

The Kindle Changed the Book Business. Can It Change Books?
Wired

A question worth pondering after Amazon Kindle e-reading system (e-reader, ebooks, participating publishers and authors, and the related cloud services) became 10 years old. If not the Kindle, someone or something will change books in the years to come.

Secrets to Earning Six Figures in Freelance Travel Writing
Make a Living Writing

Travel writer Tim Leffel has published a book on making a career as a travel writer. He highlights a few key themes from the book in this article. Instead of focusing on six figures, two important tips for aspiring writers in the article are: find your niche (for instance, adventure travel, road trips, travel hacks) and complement writing with other jobs.

Silicon Valley Won’t Save Books
New Republic

“Books were overtaken by other media decades ago. The problem isn’t that books don’t have enough television in them, or enough internet in them; it’s that they are just one form of readily available cultural consumption among so many.”

The Engineer’s Cookbook
Kari Ojala

Only an engineer can advise another engineer on cooking. This cookbook is different because it has been written by an engineer who can cook: even geeks and nerds learn how to prepare simple but delicious meals with this book.

A Turbulent Year in the Publishing World
The Scientist

Copyright fights and other events in the world of scientific and academic publishing in 2017.

The Most-Rejected Books of All Time
Lithub

Perseverance is often named as one of the most important assets a successful author must have. If you take a look at the list of most rejected fiction books, almost all of them are classics or very popular books today. It is worth noting that nonfiction writers don’t have to write the entire book before submitting it to a publisher, like fiction writers usually must do.

Tencent’s online bookstore unit whips up more IPO fever in Hong Kong
The Business Times

The Chinese enterprise Tencent listed its ebook business into the stock market, and investors went wild. The ebook stores the company is operating are already very popular, and now, investors are expecting innovations for digital media from the company.

‘Where do I think best? In bed’ – authors reveal their dream retreats
The Guardian

The common theme of the places where these authors like to think or write are private places where they can be alone, or public places where they can be undisturbed.