Robotic book scanner

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A robotic book scanner is a machine which is used to scan books, integrating automated components that allow the device to exceed the speed of traditional manual imaging devices such as camera stands. A robotic scanner usually consists of three basic parts: a mechanical device to turn the pages; a cradle or table to hold the book in place, and a camera or imaging sensor to capture images. Images are then automatically shuttled to a central computer repository, where automated processing may take place in order to perform cropping, de-skewing, and other image enhancement functions. During the process, the book remains intact.

Kirtas KabisIII Automatic Robot Book Scanner

The first fully automated book scanner was the DL (Digitizing Line) scanner, manufactured by 4DigitalBooks in Switzerland. First known installation was at Stanford University in 2001.[1][2] Scanner received a Dow Jones Runner-Up award under Business Applications Category in 2001.[3]

Most high-end commercial robotic scanners use traditional air and suction technology while some others use alternative approaches like bionic finger for turning the pages. Some scanners take advantage of Ultrasonic sensor or Photoelectric sensor to detect dual pages and prevent skipping of pages.

With reports of machines being able to scan up to 2900 pages per hour[4] robotic book scanners are specifically designed for large-scale digitization projects. Such performance numbers are most of the times based on maximum speed during the scanning process and not an average scanning production, which includes changing of the book, tuning the settings per specific book, book size. For real production calculations, it is recommended to verify the individual performances of robotic scanners.


  1. ^ Davies, John. "4DigitalBooks launches digital book scanner". PrintWeek. 
  2. ^ "Stanford University Libraries (SUL) Robotic Book Scanner". Stanford University Libraries (SUL). 
  3. ^ "Technology Innovation Awards: Winners 2001". Dow Jones. 
  4. ^ Rapp, David. "Product Watch: Library Scanners". Library Journal. Retrieved 11 May 2014. 

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