Many students dread searching for materials in the university library. Selected keywords fail to generate results and the catalog search is complex and confusing. To make life easier for its students, Cologne's University Library has provided an online adviser to assist users: Albot. The digital site librarian supports users searching for literature, informs them of available materials and helps them navigate the site and the archive. The intelligence behind the roboter-like assistant, who is able to communicate with visitors in everyday language, is using technology developed by the Hamburg-based software provider, novomind AG.
Albot is a roboter with a real background story based on a written record. "Hello! My name's Albot," he greets the user. If the visitor provides his or her name, Albot starts the personalized dialog. The constantly even-tempered assistant has an answer to almost any question - 24 hours a day, seven days a week and all year round. And he can react to input with eleven facial expressions, ranging from delighted to confused.