ZhiTu, an artificial intelligent robot developed by Tianjin University (TJU), has been set to work in the school's library to manage the book collections.
Featuring various cutting-edge technologies spanning robotic navigation, map construction, radio frequency location, computer vision and artificial intelligence (AI), ZhiTu was developed by a group led by professor Li Keqiu, winner of the National Outstanding Youth Science Foundation Award and director of the College of Intelligence and Computing at TJU.
The robot is able to intelligently manage the books, being generally more particular and efficient than a human.
It can automatically form a map of the library, while moving around, with the help of the laser radar installed at its base, and it is able to adapt to new and complicated places quickly. In addition, the robot is equipped with sensors with high precision to make way for barriers and people.
The radio frequency identification (RFID) inside the robot can scan the books on shelves automatically when checking books and read the label information, yet the RF signal is easily disturbed by various elements such as the multipath effect. The research group applied computer vision and AI to read the words on books' spines to avoid errors.
Aside from the robot, the research group has also developed a system named Zhiqu, which is installed on the upward side of the bookshelves. This system catches the movements of users while they are browsing books in order to offer recommendations and provide guidance in book purchasing, based on users' interests.