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Reader-assisting biblio-bot on the right page

The Book Time is a hands-free machine out of Japan that automatically turns pages for you when you blow into a tube.

Book Time robot
Nishizawa Electronic Measuring Instruments

The blog you're about to read is a page-turner. No, really, it is. It's about the Book Time, a hands-free machine out of Japan that automatically turns pages for you. At first glance, this might seem like yet another gadget for the lazy. But it actually has found a home in old-age facilities and public libraries, proving useful for people who have difficulty lifting or maneuvering.

As you can surmise from the video below, the contraption from Nishizawa Electronic Measuring Instruments holds books and magazines in place and turns their pages with windshield-wiper-type arms when the reader presses a button with hands or feet or blows into a tube. Sometimes it looks like the pages are about to get caught and possibly damaged, which makes us think the Book Time isn't quite ready to hold collectors editions of the classics quite yet.

Nonetheless, Book Time did nab a "Robot Award" from Japan's Ministry of Economy, Trade, and Industry last year, so it's an innovation that's clearly turning heads as well as pages.

(Via Wired)