Scanner scans a 200 page book in one minute (w/ Video)

Mar 18, 2010 by Lin Edwards report

(PhysOrg.com) -- Japanese researchers are developing a super-fast scanner that will be able to scan a book of about 200 pages in a minute without any need to break up or flatten the book.

A research team led by Professor Masatoshi Ishikawa of the University of Tokyo has developed a prototype scanner that allows users to scan a book simply by rapidly flipping its pages. A operating at 500 fps and producing pictures with a resolution of 1280 x 1024 pixels, takes pictures of the page and its contents of text and images under ordinary light. A laser then projects lines on the page, and the camera captures this image as well. The lines allow the system to adjust for the curvature and distortion of pages as they are being flipped, and the software reconstructs the image into a digitized picture of a flat, regular page.

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The prototype is large, occupying an entire laboratory bench, but the team aims to simplify and miniaturize the device so it can be incorporated into portable gadgets such as smartphones. There are challenges, apart from miniaturization, since pages can be skipped while you are flipping a book, and the images may not be of . Copyright issues will also need to be addressed. When one of the researchers, Yoshihiro Watanabe, approached a publisher for permission to use their for testing the , he was forbidden to use them, and had to create a mock book for testing.

also has a patent for a book-scanning system, which uses two cameras and an infrared light source to correct for the curvature of the book pages. The results are presented online as flat-looking pages.

Prof. Ishikawa is a well-known robotics scientist who has demonstrated some amazing robots, such as a robotic hand capable of catching objects in mid-air or dribbling a ball. The robots are equipped with what Prof. Ishikawa calls a Super Vision Chip that sees events too fast for the human eye.

Other applications Ishikawa and his team are working on include a microscope capable of tracking individual bacteria, and a motion-capture system for video games using gesture playing.

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User comments : 8

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Mayday
1 / 5 (2) Mar 18, 2010
Why not just cut the binding off and feed it through a high-speed digital copier/scanner? You can find one in most mid-to-large offices. And most will even copy both sides.
danman5000
4.7 / 5 (3) Mar 18, 2010
Why not just cut the binding off and feed it through a high-speed digital copier/scanner? You can find one in most mid-to-large offices. And most will even copy both sides.

Because some people don't want to destroy their books when scanning them. Especially if they want to use this for smart phones, or if the book is rare and valuable.

If they did put this on a phone though, what's to stop you from going to a book store and just scanning the books you want for free?
x646d63
5 / 5 (1) Mar 18, 2010
If they did put this on a phone though, what's to stop you from going to a book store and just scanning the books you want for free?


Many people, even in the digital age, still have ethics.
ahmedgnz
5 / 5 (4) Mar 18, 2010
It is not the technology but the user of the technology that would infringe copyright. The same objections could be raised for any of a number of portable copying devices available today.
There is a dire, legitimate need for a superfast, non-destructive scanner such as this nowadays. There are millions of old books, magazines, newspapers, and documents that are quickly disintegrating in libraries and repositories throughout the world. This archival material is in the public domain (copyright is longtime expired, if it ever existed) and ought to be quickly and cheaply digitalized so that the information therein is not lost forever. The material is of little or no commercial value to a digitalizing giant like Google but no one knows what past or even future discoveries may be lost with the loss of such information.
By the way, using a device such as the one in question to scan books from a bookstore for free would be not just copyright infrigement but outright stealing.
xponen
5 / 5 (2) Mar 19, 2010

If they did put this on a phone though, what's to stop you from going to a book store and just scanning the books you want for free?

For a 500fps and a sharp screen-capture... you need a non-flickering and bright light source. This mean that; a person just can't expect to be able to just go to a bookstore and copy all the book (like it was an easy task). He must bring his own light source, or (if without light source; must) tediously try to hold the book steady (and slowly) as to make sure the image is sharp.
in7x
not rated yet Mar 19, 2010
Nice device! The speed and accuracy is incredible. But this guy is just a Watanabe inventor.
abhishekbt
not rated yet Mar 19, 2010
Is it just me or is the video really not working?
eric_in_chicago
not rated yet Mar 21, 2010
any device that will put college bookstores out of business is all good in my book. not to say that i don't feel that there should be digital forms available and actual publishers should get paid.