Google Engineer Releases Design For an Automated Vacuum Powered Book Scanner

Scanning your own books is so 2010, but those of you who are living in the past are probably going to get a kick out of the following scanning rig.

Google Engineer Releases Design For an Automated Vacuum Powered Book Scanner Digitization

An engineer at Google has just released the blueprints for his book scanner. Dany Qumsiyeh started working on this design because he wanted to find a cheaper replacement for the multi-thousand dollar rigs often found in major universities which was at the same time less labor intensive than other DIY designs.

I've seen several of the more expensive models but they have always been well outside anything I can afford. Dany's design, only costs around $1500 in parts (Macbook sold separately). It can scan 2 facing pages at once, and after a pair of pages are scanned the book is pulled over a vent which is designed so the vacuum can grab just one sheet of paper and turn the page.

All in all, it's a pretty sweet rig. It's even more fun to watch it in operation.



About Nate Hoffelder (10079 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader:"I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

6 Comments on Google Engineer Releases Design For an Automated Vacuum Powered Book Scanner

  1. Brilliant, but have two page turners, one either side of the scanner and scan in both directions.

    • I’m not sure how much faster that would be or whether the decrease in scan time would be cancelled out by the increase in cost.

      • Huh? It would double the throughput and the cost to add another page-turning channel wouldn’t come anywhere near doubling the cost. So it’s well worth it provided the total time to scan a book is important to you.

        • I think the cost would also nearly double. It looks like the page turn part is designed to only work one way, so if you wanted a scanner on both sides of it you would need a second page turner or a different design.

  2. Copyright infringement lawsuit from angry publishers inbound in 5… 4…

    • Nah, there are legitimate uses for this as many books are out of copyright and may be copied freely.

      It no more infringes on copyrighted material than does the Canon scanner they disassembled for its scanning sensors and electronics.

      A question that’s yet to be answered by the courts is are you allowed to scan a book that you own as fair use (as you can with copyrighted video and audio content). There are a number of businesses that will scan books for you as a service and they’re still in business so it must be somewhat accepted as fair use.

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