Page-Scanning Robot "Reads" 250 Pages in a Minute
The BFS-Auto book-scanning robot is an amazing creation intended to speed up the process of book digitization.
Researchers at the Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan have created the high-definition scanner to use 3D real-time high-speed page recognition of up to 400 pixels per inch, allowing the robot to “read” up to 250 pages per minute. That means it could scan the whole Oxford English Dictionary in less than 10 minutes!
According to Gizmodo:
And it's taking not one but two pictures of each page, one while the page is in motion to try and get a shot of it being flat. And on top of that, there's software behind the scenes to help flatten the images out.
It still needs a human operator to feed the books into the hopper, but that’s a small matter. And, while not yet in production, the scanner is expected to be commercially available sometime in 2013. I bet it won’t be cheap.
This is pretty incredible -- like their reporter, I wish I’d been able to do read this fast in college! But what does this hold for the future of physical books? Will all books be available in some kind of digital format before long? We’ll have to wait and see.
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