In 2012 I made a proof of concept of a pageturning-mechanism and published a shaky and noisy short uncommented video on Youtube of the proof of concept. The proof was not sucessfull, because I had a reoccuring problem that I called multi-page-pickup, meaning that the pageturning mechanism did not turn one page, but two or more at a time.
I experimented with different ideas and found a hack that had the potential to solve this. The trick is to go up about half the page, then go down about 10% of the page-width and then go up all the way. This causes the pages to bend which in turn causes the additionally picked up pages to fall off.
I only tried this by hand (manually) and never documented this idea in any way. The proof-of-concept never had any electronics or automation, I just wanted to try the pageturning mechanism itself. I did not have much confidence in my “hack” and lost interest, because I did not wanted to base months of development on a hack that may not work often enough.
Luckily, Hiroshi Yanagisawa never learned that I initially gave up on the design. Among others, he found my short and noisy video on Youtube and decided to implement this design himself. He started out and constructed all the automation and motorized the vertical movement. He had the same idea to solve the multi-page pickup indepently of me.
I assume, that because he went further then I did and motorized the vertical axis, he was able to show that the “hack”, works much more reliable then I was able to anticipate, because I never motorized the vertical axis on the proof of concept.
Hiroshi also showed me implicitly, how important the automatic download and postprocessing is. He used to COTS (Consumer off-the-shelf) Cameras and replayed the Infrared Remote Signal to shoot them from an Arduino. To download the images, one would’ve needed to extract the two SD-Cards and offload them one after the other on a computer. This hurdle was in the way of my vision of a single-button book scanner.
Libreflip will not be a single-button book scanner, but it will be as close to this theoretical goal then I can make it.
I am very thankful for Hiroshis contribution. Without his work, I probably would not have picked up this project again.