If you’ve ever tried to copy a book, you know just what a drag it can be: it takes a lot of time and it’s so easy to get it wrong and mess up. But a new device developed in Japan solves all that, being able to automatically scan up to 250 pages a minute.
Developed at the University of Tokyo’s Ishikawa Oku Laboratory, the BFS-Auto can whoop through a book in one or two minutes — at that rate, it could go through a smaller library within a week. All the human operator needs to do is load books into the scanner and watch as the robot takes care of everything.
BFS-Auto can achieve high-speed and high-definition book digitization with remarkable ease. The books are digitized as documents, not images, which is also important as they are searchable and parseable.
The device works in three stages: first, it has an automated high-speed page flipping system, which does pretty much what you’d expect from it. Then, it carries out a real-time 3D scan of the flipped pages, and ultimately, it turns the images into scannable and parseable documents.
The system also has a technology to restore blurred or distorted images, which often happens with curled or warped pages. The 400 pixels per inch resolution also ensures great readability.
However, the status of the BFS-Auto is rather unclear. It was supposed to hit the market in 2013, but as far as we can tell, it never did, although it’s an idea well worth pursuing.