It is not a secret that Google has been busy scanning books by the thousands to create one of the largest known digital libraries but, it has faced stiff opposition from quite a few publishers and authors. By releasing plans of the Linear Book Scanner it might be hoping that users help out in creating a huge digital library.
The Linear Book Scanner doesn’t need any manual intervention to flip pages of the book being scanned as it turns them automatically using a vacuum cleaner and a cleverly designed sheet metal structure. “The device moves a book face-down over linear sensors to capture page images, and uses vacuum pressure to turn pages automatically as the book moves”, notes the Linear Book Scanner project page.
If someone goes about building the scanner from scratch, he / she may end up with a bill of materials of about $1500. But, Google claims that the official design documents include a very expensive scanner and if someone actually goes around poking and hacking their way through, a few flatbed scanners will do the job.
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