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Liberty University Jerry Falwell Library Tour

Posted by Nathan House, 25 October 2013 · 3,484 views

Liberty University is building a new $50M library and the Liberty University Robotics Club had the opportunity to tour the new library and see it's robotic book retrieval system today.

I forgot to bring a camera and used my cell to take the pictures and video below, so they're not the best quality, but hopefully you get the idea of how cool it was!







Main entrance.

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The view after walking in the main entrance.

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Another view from the main entrance.

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Lounge/computer area.

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Unfinished stairs = FUN!

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2nd floor?

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2nd floor view of the main lobby (note: we had a bet as to who could hop down the unfinished stairs in the background, on one leg, backward, blindfolded, but although there was a generous $5 reward, there weren't any takers. Cowards.).

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Another view of the main lobby.

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Pic across campus from the 2nd floor. To the right is a lake, to the left is an underground athletic training facility/basketball court (a lawn will be laid over the top) and in the background is the new humongous eight story dorm being built.

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Robotic book retrieval system.

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The boxes come in from the sides, at which time a diagram of the box comes up on the display showing which of the six partitions the book needing to be picked is located. After the operator picks the book, he or she scans it, sticks the receipt printed out into the book, and it's ready for pickup by the student who ordered it. Time from order (placed online) to being ready for pickup is about 10 minutes.

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Some more pics of the retrieval system..

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Matthew's head.

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The retrieval system can move at about 4.7 MPH horizontally and 1.7 MPH vertically. It travels on both axis at the same time to improve picking speed.

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It was hard not pushing these buttons...

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... but much harder not pushing this one..

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It makes really cool noises when it moves.

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All these empty spaces will be filled soon..

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I agree, that is a SICK laser (it's used to make sure books aren't sticking above the top of the box before moving to storage).

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Operator station (with a missing monitor).

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The robot brings the boxes down to this level, then slides them into the station.

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Another pic of empty-but-soon-to-be-filled-spaces.

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I like taking pictures.

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BGEVROOOMEEEEEEEEE (it sounds much cooler than that).

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Heavy duty stuff..

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Is this company looking for interns?

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I was tempted to reach in and touch that back rail -- it looked like a once in a lifetime experience..

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The box was just transferred from the retrieval/delivery system into the station.

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Apparently the engineers at Muratec really like lasers, because they're everywhere.

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Huge boiler room (or something-room) in the basement.

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Pictures through an observation window on the ground floor.

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Another pic out across campus.

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The lake is to the right of the above picture.

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We were not authorized to ascend these stairs. I don't like being told what to do, so I half-stepped onto the first one.

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Mini food-court place.

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Not sure which floor this is, but you can see the books stacks on the right (stacks are on all four floors).

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I've never been particularly fond of glass railings, but they look nice.

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The fourth floor has glass from floor to ceiling instead of just a glass railing. Apparently it has something to do with fire suppression.

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A view from the back of the library out into the main lobby. The stairs going up are actually just the narrow strop on the left, while what appear to be larger steps on the right will be benches. I think the guide referred to this as "the forum," or something similarly Roman, which has inspired me to reenact the assassination of Julius Caesar here (with real swords, obviously).

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This is the somewhat-awesome staircase where the $5 bet/dare occurred, but as previously mentioned there were no takers.

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This picture is totally unnecessary as there is an almost identical one above.

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The stacks on the first two floors can be seen here. Unlike libraries at other universities, it is highly unlikely that students will be making out in these stacks, as there is very little privacy (clearly by design, jerks).

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Actually, I like the glass.

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A few more pics from another observation window:

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At first glance, it may seem that the robot had become self-aware and was attempting to communicate with me via a flashing light. Unfortunately, it was my camera's flash.

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Another picture across campus, this time with the athletic training facility, lake, and dorm all in view.

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A few more pics from the upper floors..

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To the girl leaning against the glass railing: see the duct tape holding it together?

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We feel a zipline from the library to the dorm on the right would be a great addition (someone suggested monkey bars, but that's just silly).

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The main lobby again.

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One of the 40 or so group study rooms. Apparently, there's a special kind of paint on the walls that allows students to write on them with dry-erase markers. The windows, glass-top table, and people can also be written on.

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Views of the main lobby from the second floor overpass.

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Outside the front of the library. I believe this area will be a grass mall.

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A dedicated quiet reading room. For some unknown reason, all of the books that start with the letter "p" will also be in here.

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I don't think he was supposed to go out there.. (note to self, use this as blackmail)

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This is a picture of the reading room, not the girl, I swear.

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We weren't allowed to walk on these stairs, either, but I was actually OK with that.

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Middle of the 3rd floor (I think).

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Our tour guide, who was awesome, wore a hard hat. We were not given hard hats, which some of us resented.

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One of several uncompleted terraces.

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It's a long way down..

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We had a great time touring the new library and are especially grateful for being shown the very cool robotic book retrieval system. Thanks very much to everyone involved in organizing the tour!

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