nusratt writes "BBC reports on robotics researchers in Spain, who have developed a prototype which can retrieve books from library shelves while patrons are present. 'When it receives a request for a book, its voice recognition software matches the titles with the book's classification code to identify which bookshelf stack to go to. The robot navigates its way to the bookshelf, using its infrared and laser guidance system, and scans books within a four-metre radius. Once the book is located, it has to grasp it and take it off the bookshelf, which is not a simple as it might seem. For this, the team had to develop special fingertips like nails, with one nail longer than the other. 'For me that was the hardest part. All the other things were current state of the art technology,' said Professor Pobil.' The article also discusses using robots to assist in digitizing library materials."