Maybe I would hate it if it weren’t so cute.
I’m talking about AROUND B, a little book bot butler created by Kim Seungwoo and Kyumin Ha of Naver Labs.
What is a book bot butler? Glad you asked. The idea is that as soon as you walk into a large bookstore, AROUND B will begin following you as you browse. Once you’ve picked out some books, the bot will take you to a seating area so that you can flip through them in peace. (I know that some people sit in bookstores when they have a chance, but I honestly can’t remember the last time I saw anyone waddle over to a chair with a tower of books…)
Anyways, the coolest thing about AROUND B is that you can place your books on top of it, then it sort of swallows them up and carries them to the register. It can also take the books you’ve left behind to a space for employees to collect them.
Yes, AROUND B looks like a paper shredder riding a Roomba, but it’s somehow endearing.
I wonder if a future upgrade will allow the bot to browse books itself, lingering like a gluttonous dragon by the “New Releases” section of the store as people passive aggressively tiptoe around it.