Google engineer builds $1,500 page-turning scanner out of sheet metal and a vacuum

google book scanner

For the past eight years, Google has been working on digitizing the world’s 130 million or so unique books. While the pace of new additions to the Google Books initiative has been slowing down, members of the team have devised a new automated scanner design that could both make the project much more cost efficient, and give everyone with $ 1,500 and a little know-how access to a page-turning scanner of their very own. In the video below, Google Books engineer Dany Qumsiyeh presents the prototype design that he and other teammates created during the “20 percent time” that Google (and now Apple, among others) allocates for personal projects, showing the design challenges he overcame along the way.

The scanner uses air suction from an…

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