How-To Geek

Scan to Email Using Raspberry Pi

Why spend extra money on a scan-to-email capable scanner or multi-purpose device when you can repurpose an old scanner and a Raspberry Pi into a one-button email-enabled scanner.

Eduardo Luís, tinker behind the hack, explains the impetus for his franken-scanner:

I came across this idea because There is a problem in the company that I work for. There is a remote office that has only a few people working a few hours a day. For these people computers are still a “complicated” object. We have internet and a VPN there. We also have e-mail and a server for remote backups. However something was missing. We need an easy way to transfer paper documents to our headquarters instantly.

To Buy a network scanner was too expensive; to buy a simple scanner and attach it to a computer was not a solution either, because there are 3 computers to 3 people. Despite that, it will not be would be an easy task to use this software due to people lack of knowledge.

His solution was to hook an old scanner up to a Raspberry Pi, which is turn outfitted with a simple one-button interface and linked to the company network. All his less-than-computer-saavy office mates need to do is lift the lid, place the document, and press the button. Check out the video above to see it in action and hit up the link below to read more about the project.

Raspberry Pi Network Scanner [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 01/11/13

Comments (7)

  1. Duh

    I’m guessing he never heard of a FAX machine? Of course, they probably have one and it probably uses thermal paper. You know? The paper that turns completely black after a few years?!

    I only wish that Ras/Pi was destined for better things other than humorously satisfying some mundane technophobic document problem. I mean, couldn’t you get a Arduino to do it?

    I’d also like to know what company that is in case I DON’T want them to leak my information in an INSECURE EMAIL!

    HELLO?! News flash: Email is NOT secure if there’s no encryption. So if you ask me, the stupidity could go both ways.

    That said, it’s still pretty cool.

  2. Robert Stevens

    Raspberry pi is used for alot of great purposes, almost anything you want. There’s a ton of open vpns and directories in corporate data, that’s no secret.

  3. Eduardo Luis

    Hello Duh,

    The purpose was really to avoid the fax machine that was used to exchange internal documents. BTW, FAX is almost dead and that office was only using the fax for that purpose. So, now I killed it and used raspberry for that improved and easy way.
    And I think you may know the quality between a fax and a scanned image.

  4. EricInDayton

    If the Pi connects to the corporate email server across the VPN, that solves the encryption issue and the document never has to leave the corporate network. Fax’s are not secure either. This could actually be more secure than a fax. Plus I’d much rather receive a scanned doc than a fax (unless the receiving fax converted it to an electronic doc).

  5. EricInDayton

    It’s really quite an ingenious and creative (and low cost) solution.

  6. Joe O'Loughlin

    You just made my day.

  7. Prince Konami

    Did you type that with your feet?

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