September 27, 2017

AIMS Cameroon Book Friendly Scanner Project

As digital technology evolves, it is increasingly important to preserve books and other documents in digital format, mainly because it provides easier access points and significantly reduces the need for physical storage space.  With the advancement in electronic and laser technology, various types of book scanners have been proposed for the digitization of books.

However, most of these scanners are not book friendly because fragile books may be destroyed during the scanning process. Thus, the need for a book friendly scanner which is able to handle efficiently the scanning of fragile and delicate books, has become primordial in today’s digital world. Motivated by this, a group of students carried out a project under the supervision of Prof. Axel Schumann to designed and build a book friendly scanner, which is not only able to scan and preserve fragile books but is also very cheap and affordable.

This was achieved by constructing a locally made scanner with wood, the wood used was to give the scanner balance and rigidity. The scanner has two main parts: the book holder and the camera stand. The book holder (also known as the cradle) is made by placing two pieces of wood together at a small angle so that it has a slight ‘V’ shape. The base is supported from below with some adjustable material so as to accommodate different sizes of books. The camera stand is also adjustable to vary the distance of the camera from the book as desired. The camera stand has to be very rigid to avoid distortions or vibrations when taking picture. This is to allow us get a very clean and sharp images. A digital camera or a smart phone camera can be used to take pictures of the pages. The pictures are then transfer to a personal computer and python program developed by the students is then used to adjust the pictures into clear readable pages

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