20 Aug 2018

The intergalactic heroes behind Christchurch’s new central library have been bestowed official Earth names, thanks to the help of Christchurch primary and intermediate schools.

A special survey run by Christchurch City Council revealed the most popular names for Tūranga’s five Bookbots who hail from the planet Biblio.

St Anne's Room 2 students with principal Dallas Wichman.

St Anne's Room 2 students with principal Dallas Wichman and the school's brand-new Star Wars robot.

Captain Connect, Mihi and Manu, Qbot, Rubix and the Nanobuds will each take up residence in the library when it opens on 12 October.

Head of Libraries and Information Carolyn Robertson says the campaign has helped to get local schools involved and excited ahead of Turanga’s opening.

“Schools in Christchurch have been without a permanent central library for some time now, so we wanted them to start getting excited about Tūranga while sparking their imaginations about the Bookbots.

“It’s a great way to introduce them to the concept of the new library and the digital characters that will help them to find their way around.”

The Bookbots are an immersive augmented-reality experience aimed at children. Using the cameras on smart devices such as a phones and tablets, the five bots will be discoverable across the five different floors of Tūranga: He Hononga/Connection, Hapori/Community, Tuakiri/Identity, Tūhuratanga/Discovery, and Auahatanga/Creativity.

Children can use their devices to interact with each Bookbot and solve challenges, gradually unlocking the knowledge needed to get their broken-down spaceship working again.

Schools that completed the survey also went into the draw to win prizes from Spark, Imagination Station and PB Tech.

The grand prize, a real-life programmable Star Wars robot, was won by St Anne’s Catholic School, in Woolston.

St Anne’s principal Dallas Wichman says he is proud of the school’s students for getting involved.

“We are really grateful to have won this prize and I’m proud of the students who took the time to participate. So many of them are into technology at the moment but there often isn’t a lot at home. They’ll be able to come to school and have a chance to do lots of amazing things – it opens ideas for how our staff can work with students as well. We’re all going to have some fun with this!”