How-To Geek

Google Open-Sources Their Book Scanner

Google has released the hardware and software source for their high speed/non-destructive book scanner–If you’re looking to scan a large volume of books, save yourself the design work and check out the Linear Book Scanner project.

The design is pretty slick; the scanner uses vacuum pressure to automatically turn the pages as it works. Check out the video above to see a Google Tech Talk about the project and then hit up the link below to grab the hardware and software files.

Linear Book Scanner [via Hack A Day]

Jason Fitzpatrick is a warranty-voiding DIYer who spends his days cracking opening cases and wrestling with code so you don't have to. If it can be modded, optimized, repurposed, or torn apart for fun he's interested (and probably already at the workbench taking it apart). You can follow him on if you'd like.

  • Published 11/22/12

Comments (3)

  1. Pinhead

    WOW! We actually get a LINK this time?

    Gee. Thanks. I didn’t want to go reading through all the comments to find it or anything.


  2. LadyFitzgerald

    That was fascinating. I’m in the middle of scanning pretty much all of the books in my personal library by cutting off the spines and using an ADF duplexing scanner to scan the pages. I have to babysit the scanner throughout the process to catch and correct the occasional misfeeds, load the infeed every 50 pages and remove pages from the outfeed before they get too deep. After scanning, I have to scroll through the scanned images to ensure there are no bent, missing, or upside down pages and fix any errors found. I’m scanning directly to PDF but skipping OCR since it takes a certain amount of time to run the images through OCR and even longer to edit for OCR errors (which takes even longer than just reading the book). With the number of books I have to scan, I wouldn’t live long enough to do OCR on all of them.

  3. Hopponit

    If I may. A couple of suggestions for the hardware. We made many parts for machines at the factory from solid nylon sheets. This might be better than the sheet aluminum shown, it wouldn’t leave traces of oxide on the pages. Also,you might try having dimples milled into the surface that the book is being passed over (think of the cover of a golf ball)to reduce friction. The dimples wouldn’t need to be deep, just smooth. Coupled with the low friction of the nylon (which is long wearing and easily machined) it would take some of the load off the stepper motor. We used nylon for wear surfaces in our plant and it was very durable even with steel parts sliding across every day.

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