Tips & more

Book Bot library robot returns books free of charge in Silicon Valley

BookBot is a book pick-up device in Mountain View
Book Bot is a book pick-up device that will allow residents in the Old Mountain View neighborhood to return library books / Photo: Mountain View Public Library

End to overdue library books? A new mobile robot librarian drives around Mountain View and collects books that are due to be returned.

Every bookworm’s biggest hassle is the growing pile of borrowed books waiting to be returned to the library. Residents of Silicon Valley, California can say goodbye to the struggle – Google’s newest invention, Book Bot, will carry their overdue books back free of charge.

Every Thursday from 11am to 8pm, Book Bot drives around Mountain View and collects books from households. It can carry up to 50 pounds of books at once, and the pick-up has to be scheduled in advance. The robot will not operate during rain, hail or similar weather conditions. As of today, due to popularity, the waiting time is about a week. Only book return service is available.

The robot librarian is a creation of Google’s Area 120 – an initiative that brings dozens of innovative and experimental ideas to life. Book Bot is “still an active development,” says Christian Bersch, the project’s team lead. “Right now. we just want to learn how this would work, how it operates and what kinds of problems we’d run into,” he adds in an interview with Mercury News.

Book Bot will be followed for half a year by a (human) handler in order to ensure that it works as planned and to monitor the residents’ reactions. Afterwards, the robot will be controlled remotely for three more months.

The residents of Silicon Valley, however, are no strangers to seeing robots on the streets. Mountain View is home to numerous global technology companies such as Google, Facebook or Apple; besides, the Mountain View City Council permitted the companies to test out their devices on its streets in 2018.

Book Bot is a blessing not only for book-loving chronic procrastinators – it can be a lifesaver for families with infants, workers with a tight schedule, the elderly, people with disabilities or those with limited mobility.

Via The Mercury News.

• • •

Keep exploring:

Book censorship in the 2021 by the numbers
– April 26, 2022

How to set up and organize a perfect home library (infographic)
– February 21, 2022

Library Lover’s Month – there are so many ways to celebrate!
– February 1, 2022

Quotes for library walls, inspired by retro book design
– January 21, 2022

The evolution of public libraries since 7th century BCE (infographic)
– November 19, 2021

Recommendation box

Gifts for modern bookworms in 2023

Based on recommendations from top tech sites and customer reviews.

• • •

Coffee and candle warmer with USB charger

Coffee and candle warmer with USB charger

This innovative little accessory that guarantees your coffee or tea will be always warm. You can also use it to release the scent from your candle without lighting it. Thanks to USB port, you will be able to charge your phone while reading.


• • •

Innovative reading light

Compact and innovative reading light

From a German brand Nachteule comes a clever book light that you attach not to a book but your reading glasses. It’s so light that you can also clip it to your earphones or hair accessories! The built-in battery will let you read 200 pages.


• • •

Hands-free pillow stand

Hands-free pillow stand – great for e-readers and print books

An improved version of a popular Lamicall tablet pillow comes now with a side pocket for a pen or small accessories. The grooves are deep enough to hold a print book. It’s made of durable materials and is available in five fashionable colors.


More gifts for bookworms