Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby rob » 24 Jan 2012, 23:19

That contraption just gets crazier and crazier, but it works better and better! I love it! I'm also impressed with its ability to handle the first few pages of the book. Now we need to see some sample photos of the page!
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby dtic » 25 Jan 2012, 15:42

That looks more durable and the tubing won't risk ripping the page like the metal thread ring might have.

I still think you should film it page turning and shooting an entire book. Without missing pages. A public domain book would be best because then the resulting file could be posted publicly and linked to next to the video. If the images are processed with ScanTailor and packed as a small pdf then that could be a real eye-opener and a great, immediate promo for book scanning in general. Because when discussing auto page turners the question "can it do a whole book?" often comes up. Understandably so. So to show a device that can handle an entire book and show the great pdf with OCR'ed text that resulted from it would really be something. I can see the headlines already: "One small page turn for machine, one giant leap for DIY auto book scanning." :D
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby jck57 » 29 Jan 2012, 16:49

One of the presser serovs puked a gear, so I replaced both presser serovs with higher torque units featuring ball bearings and metal gears. Replaced Arduino with Pololu Mini-Maestro board. After working through age-induced learning difficulties, the software made it easy to set overlapping servo events. With these settings it scans at 2520 pages per hour. As per suggestions by Rob and dtic, I plan to scan and save images from an entire book and record the process on video. This promises to be a real exciting movie of a mechanical process repeated 140 times. It would be great idea to pop some corn and gather together the whole family for the show.

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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby aeturneus » 29 Jan 2012, 18:00

Wow, those changes really make it look unstoppable.

What is involved in making one of these? I'd love to see a build walkthrough / parts list!
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby jck57 » 30 Jan 2012, 16:25

Complete 468 book scanned in about 12 minutes with zero page turning errors. Sorry, dtic. One of my cameras broke so I couldn't capture the page images.

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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby tosborn » 30 Jan 2012, 17:21

Truly awesome.

A couple of questions. First, have you thought about a way for it to autodetect the end of the book so that you could start it and then leave it unattended and it would shut off on its own? Second, is it currently adjustable to books of different sizes? For example, would it work now for a book half as tall as the one you scanned? Finally, how many servos do you have performing all the movements?

You have done some amazing work here!
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby jck57 » 30 Jan 2012, 19:17

tosborn wrote:
A couple of questions. First, have you thought about a way for it to autodetect the end of the book so that you could start it and then leave it unattended and it would shut off on its own? Second, is it currently adjustable to books of different sizes? For example, would it work now for a book half as tall as the one you scanned? Finally, how many servos do you have performing all the movements?



I hadn't thought about how to automatically shut it off. One way would be to have a thin clip of non-conductive material clipped on the last page and also attached to the cradle. As the last page is pulled from the clip, electrical contacts on the clip come together to complete a circuit. A pin on the Pololu board could be programmed as an input. The clip switch wired to this pin could thus shut everything off.

The scanner is adjustable from small paperback to 8.5" x 11".

There are five servos to turn pages and two more to trigger the cameras.
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby rob » 30 Jan 2012, 23:37

jck57 wrote:Complete 468 book scanned in about 12 minutes with zero page turning errors.


O... M... G! It's incredible! I'm stunned, and I'm totally not worthy to be in the same room as you. I wish I had a more intelligent comment, but I don't, so instead I have a challenge: can it do a mass market paperback book? I would really love to see it do one, because paperbacks have the crappiest paper in existence.
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby jck57 » 01 Feb 2012, 01:21

rob wrote:
jck57 wrote:Complete 468 book scanned in about 12 minutes with zero page turning errors.


I have a challenge: can it do a mass market paperback book? I would really love to see it do one, because paperbacks have the crappiest paper in existence.


Yes, the paper is stiff but also the way the pages are glued together makes a paperback want to close back up. I think this scanner could turn the pages but it would have to be a different routine: slower, with everything working together to keep the book open during the process. Is there a big demand for scanning cheap paperbacks?
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Re: Monson's Servo Auto Scanner

Postby dtic » 01 Feb 2012, 06:38

Wonderful! I watched the whole 12 minute video straight through and didn't see it miss a single page. The machine just goes on and on, very reliably. :)

Some scattered thoughts: Each repetition takes roughly 4 seconds. Given how very reliably the machine operates it might be possible to speed that up without changing anything to the system other than adding faster moving servos. I don't know much about servos, maybe faster means much more expensive? It would be cool if the machine could outperformed the fastest manual book scanner.

But then again speed is not very important. Because once it has a way to autostop at the end of the book then you could just load a book, let it rip and come back to load a new book when the servos go silent.
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