Photos of the year: From weird datacentres to a 3D printer that prints chocolate

Photos of the year: From weird datacentres to a 3D printer that prints chocolate

Summary: The best tech snaps of 2011

TOPICS: Hardware

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  • Robotic library

    This is the underground storage facility for the University of Chicago's library. It opened its doors in May this year, relying on a robotic crane to retrieve books every time a user requests one of its 3.5 million items.

    Reading material is stored in bins - each holding about 100 books or journals - inside the facility, which extends 50 feet below ground.

    Barcodes are used to track each item so the automated retrieval system knows which bin to retrieve an item from when it's been requested.

    To see more of the university's high-tech library visit Photos: Robotic library picks books out of the deep.

    Photo: University of Chicago/Lloyd DeGrane

  • Crowd concept PC

    This concept PC provided a glimpse of one possible future of computing.

    The Crowd PC seen here won designer Philipp Schaake of Germany a $14,000 runner-up prize in the Lifebook category of the Fujitsu Design Award 2011 in May.

    Crowd can be configured to resemble a notebook or slate, and can be tweaked so that the screen and keyboard are separate. The device's modifiable nature also allows it to be operated via the back cover when closed.

    For pictures of more concepts that caught the judges' eyes at the Fujitsu Design Award 2011 check out Photos: Fujitsu future computing design winners.

    Photo: Philipp Schaake/Fujitsu

  • Apple's new campus

    It may resemble an intergalactic spaceship but this space age construction is what Apple wants its new base to look like.

    The company revealed its plans for the campus in Cupertino, California - the town that plays home to its current headquarters - in June this year.

    See more images of Apple's planned headquarters at Photos: Space base - Apple's new HQ comes with a sci-fi flavour.

    Photo: Apple/City of Cupertino

Topic: Hardware


Nick Heath is chief reporter for TechRepublic UK. He writes about the technology that IT-decision makers need to know about, and the latest happenings in the European tech scene.

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