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The Incredible BFS-Auto Book-Scanning Robot

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Recently, Ishikawa Oku Laboratory in Japan unveiled the BFS-Auto Book-Scanning Robot. The robot, which is effectively a scanner, is being utilized to digitise books, and can read at an astonishing 250 pages a minutes. That works out at roughly 4 pages a second.

3D Recognition

When the robot flips over pages at lightning speed it is able to recognise the contents of a book in 3D. This robot isn’t just about speed however. It is able to capture a book’s contents at a high quality 400 pixels per inch. The robot is also able to work from pages still in a book, rather than just with flat pages that have been removed, which is often a necessity when scanning. The ability of the robot to be able to do this is as impressive as its actual speed.

Can Improve Existing Images

It’s through the use of its 3D technology that the robot is able to capture a clear image from a page that isn’t flat. It can determine, through the use of 3D, how the image should look if it was on a flat page. So, the robot can not only read and scan very quickly it can do so with pages that are curled up or creased. Consequently, it can even improve the appearance of the original image that it is actually scanning.

Takes Two Images At Once

More remarkably, the robot takes two images of every page it scans. Software works in combination with the robot to collectively produce the best image possible. One image is taken of the page as it is going through the scanning process, and then the software is used to make the page appear more flat.

Taking The Effort Out Of Scanning

Manual scanning is a tedious process, and sometimes the image itself isn’t scanned satisfactorily for a number of reasons. This can certainly be true when attempting the difficult task of scanning pages from a book, and more so when you want to keep the pages in that book intact. Even scanning flat pages is time consuming. Then there are the concerns about matching the quality of the original image. The BFS-Auto Book-Scanning Robot solves the problems of difficult pages to scan, speed and quality. As a result, the benefits the BFS-Auto Book-Scanning Robot offer in terms of saving time are obvious. The only real work involved for a human is setting up the book that needs to be scanned. The book is put into a chamber, and the robot does the rest. In some cases the robot will be able to scan a book in the time a human can manually scan one item.

Use In Libraries

The robots still have some way to go before they start appearing as a regular feature in your local library, but that’s surely just a matter of time. Libraries all over the world will be licking their lips at the idea of being able to digitise their whole coillections in a matter of days, or weeks at the most.

Robert Heath created this piece and is a blogger at document-options.co.uk. Rob enjoys blogging about science, technology, and gadgets and can found blogging about Brighton scanning and print services at dol.co.uk.

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