alt.CES – DIY full auto book scanner

alt.CES – DIY full auto book scanner



  1. The Shuttle/The Glider
  2. The Balance
  3. Controller
  4. Computer
  5. Scanner
  6. Rack
  7. Printer



  • The Glider is wound up, The Shuttle is at the right position.
  • The Shuttle moves to the left.
  • The Glider winds down until it touches the book.
  • The Shuttles moves to the right. The Glider, touching the book, filps the page.
  • The Glider winds up.
  • The Balance is lift up. The computer detects the event and sends message to the scanner.
  • The machine pauses for 35 seconds, while the scannaer is working.
  • The Balance lifts down.
  • Repeat.

This is just what I was hoping someone had built! Totally awesome. Now it just needs to add OCR and text-to-speech to convert to MP3s that you can listen to. Thanks to woyzeck in the comments for the link.

6 thoughts on “alt.CES – DIY full auto book scanner

  1. Bert says:

    With todays multimegapixel camera’s it would be much easier to use that instead of a scanner. The scanner is much harder to control, especially over twain, and the machine is very slow. With a camera you can have the electronics hit the shutter with every page, and get to several pages per minute.
    Only problem is the page must be flat. The incredible depth of field of a scanner is better with these curved pages.

  2. scarr says:

    to Bert:

    are you not just saying that if a camera was better than this would be better with a camera used? because even as you say, the camera cannot get the images/scans needed.

    because if you used a camera, you would have fast, not useable, large images.

    well, if bacon worked better they should use that too.

  3. KBSoftware says:

    I love this project.
    It would be very possible to do this project with a digital camera and it would be much faster.

    There’s an article or two with video on ways to do just that right here on Make. I’ve also experimented a bit with a program called Snapper, it works great but $50 pfft.
    Google the idea and you end up with tons and tons of ways to deal to accomplish the goal on the cheap.

    I love DIY and bacon :)

Comments are closed.

Discuss this article with the rest of the community on our Discord server!

John Edgar Park likes to make things and tell people about it. He builds project for Adafruit Industries. You can find him at and twitter/IG @johnedgarpark

View more articles by John Edgar Park