Daniel Reetz, the founder of the DIY Book Scanner community, has recently started making videos of prototyping and shop tips. If you are tinkering with a book scanner (or any other project) in your home shop, these tips will come in handy. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCn0gq8 ... g_8K1nfInQ

Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

DIY Book Scanner Skunk Works. Share your crazy ideas and novel approaches. Home of the "3D structure of a book" thread.
Abarbour
Posts: 13
Joined: 30 Aug 2012, 17:03
Number of books owned: 2000
Country: Canada

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by Abarbour » 19 Nov 2012, 19:21

I wonder if using this page turning method with a dual camera set-up would be a viable option?? Leverage current investment in cameras and software...

Obviously, the angle of the platen would need to be increased (without having to do keystone correction on the images).

Anyone else think this is a viable option?

MerlinMags
Posts: 11
Joined: 10 Sep 2012, 12:24
E-book readers owned: Kindle
Number of books owned: 1000
Country: UK

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by MerlinMags » 20 Nov 2012, 07:17

I think this is a fantastic invention within our field - this guy has done away with robotic arms with rubber fingertips and other flappy gadgets, and found a very simple way to turn a page without lifting the book up. It can be improved over time to give the accuracy rates we would like to see.

Quoting a 45% tear rate sounds scary, but this was explained as "we only scanned 60 books, and 45% of those had ONE tear in" (very different to tearing 45% of pages!!) It is early days and there have only been 3 cardboard prototypes and one aluminium machine. They have ideas on how to improve the shape of the page turning faces, plus more ideas on how to detect problems (folds or the start of a tear) before actually spoiling a book. I expect several design iterations will see great improvements.

No-one is claiming this prism scanner is a solution to all book scanning needs. Of course you don't want to risk a rare book getting torn. But for the millions of other non-rare books, this is fantastic. Like he says in the video, all lending libraries accept that books may get minor damage when people take them home.

Hopefully improvements in saddle design will mean small paperbacks can be scanned (perhaps a flat/heavy device could be folded into the covers of a book, to make a paperback act like it had hardback covers).

The size of the machine looks large compared to the designs pioneered on this website, but it is lower and could be hidden away under a desk. You have to accept a length of three times the height of the largest book you wish to scan, in order to get the automation. Both designs have fantastic merits and complement each other nicely.

The eleven seconds to traverse the prism and back (scanning 2 pages) does not worry me - you'd just walk away and come back later. Locating in a garage/basement would save you going mad from the noise of the vacuum cleaner (and surely there are quiter fans?). It would not be too difficult to add the capability to send a message to your phone to say "book finished" or "paper jam" even!

User avatar
jck57
Posts: 376
Joined: 23 Nov 2009, 15:21

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by jck57 » 20 Nov 2012, 18:24

MerlinMags wrote:this guy has done away with robotic arms with rubber fingertips and other flappy gadgets, and found a very simple way to turn a page without lifting the book up.
Turning over a page is easy. The hard part is consistently picking one page at a time each time with books of various size and paper quality.

We'll see. Good luck to the Google guys and everybody else that is working with this idea.

User avatar
jck57
Posts: 376
Joined: 23 Nov 2009, 15:21

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by jck57 » 20 Nov 2012, 18:26

dpc wrote:
I did find it interesting that their viewing software would show a mosaic of the small sections of each page containing the page number. That would be useful even for a manual scanner like a lot of us use here to help locate missed/doubled pages.

Yeah! Anybody here know how to do this?

User avatar
daniel_reetz
Posts: 2780
Joined: 03 Jun 2009, 13:56
E-book readers owned: Used to have a PRS-500
Number of books owned: 600
Country: United States
Contact:

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by daniel_reetz » 20 Nov 2012, 23:50

I got about eleventy-billion emails about this design. A few quick thoughts (I'm on vacation until late next week and trying not to let book scanner stuff overwhelm my life)

Totally innovative design. It's rare that a new design comes that we haven't seen here. For example, another major book scanner innovation was just announced - but it uses "our" laser system - and a bunch of ideas we've discussed here over the years.

Quite pleased that Google open-sourced the patents.

Quite pleased to see some very different approaches to the problem. Hope somebody here tries to build it. I won't, not my idea of fun.

I still think that if you can trust a book to a meat-slicer-lookin' scanbot, you can cut the spine off and scan it that way. Fast, cheap, nice.

But let me throw out another challenge here - or a nice thing about this - and we've talked about this before. You don't need ultra high-speed to have a really compelling scanner. If you could make a SUPER CHEAP scanner that could only turn even ONE page per day and capture it perfectly, you'd have a compelling system. Food for thought.

dtic
Posts: 463
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 18:03

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by dtic » 23 Nov 2012, 12:56

daniel_reetz wrote:But let me throw out another challenge here - or a nice thing about this - and we've talked about this before. You don't need ultra high-speed to have a really compelling scanner. If you could make a SUPER CHEAP scanner that could only turn even ONE page per day and capture it perfectly, you'd have a compelling system. Food for thought.
Very true. Maybe that is a niche where the DIY community can move ahead. A slow reliable system would be very useful for regular people even if it is unfeasible for some library with 10.000 volumes to scan.

Another niche is semi-automation as brainstormed here. I'm kind of surprised that no has tried motorizing the cradle move on the new standard scanner yet. I'm not good at electronics (and don't have the standard scanner anyway) but I have a hunch that it could be done with an inexpensive electric screwdriver, an arduino and a few more parts.

TomHorsley
Posts: 96
Joined: 30 Jan 2011, 10:39

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by TomHorsley » 23 Nov 2012, 15:39

I'd still love to give my post-it note scheme a try someday, but I don't think my mechanical skills are up to it. I envision a book height roller covered in post-it note stickum that you lay down on the page you want to turn then slightly lift and rotate. Maybe some short bristle brushes to hold the edges of the page down, but still allow the roller to slide one page out from under them.

dtic
Posts: 463
Joined: 06 Mar 2010, 18:03

Re: Google open-sources a DIY page-turning scanner

Post by dtic » 23 Nov 2012, 17:31

Tom, for such a sticky page picker maybe a pet hair roller could be used. Sticky, but not too sticky. I experimented with sticky tape in my old prototype. A problem is that the sticky surface wears off over time and it is hard to predict when. A rubber stick that pushes the page, like the one jck57's auto scanner prototype has, might be more reliable since it is very durable. It is also often used in printers and other machines that need to feed paper many times reliably.

Post Reply