Vol. 1, Issue 4 -- August 1996

Pageturner Design Team

By Mike Lessig

The Pageturner Design Team is currently conducting experiments to find the most reliable way of turning pages. This process was begun by taking our list of ideas and dividing them into categories based on specific pageturning techniques. Some of these include:

The first two of the above methods are now being explored and evaluated. Old copiers, printers, and any other machines that use rollers to manipulate paper have been taken apart to see how these ideas can be used to effectively turn pages. Also, we have looked at currency counters and ATMs to see how these types of machines can help us.

The most promising idea to this point has been the possibility of using a wand powered by a suction pump or a small fan to lift and turn pages. We are experimenting with the regulation of suction power and attempting to determine the best wand tip to use to make proper contact with the page. A problem with this method is that often more than one page is picked up. A possible solution is to use an LED sensor to measure the amount of light that passes through a page to determine its density and the number of pages being grasped. The amount of light reflected off a page must also be measured using the LED sensor to determine whether the suction device has picked up two pages or one page with darker ink.

Also, a prototype of a stand to hold a book in position has been built. This book stand gives us a basic idea of where a book would be positioned so we can see which pageturner designs would be feasible and where components of the device would be located.

* In our latest efforts, we are looking at using both rollers and suction on the same device. The rollers alone could be used to turn a large number of pages at one time and the suction wand could be used to pick up single pages. The rollers could also be used to help turn a page after the suction wand has picked it up. The Pageturner Design Team has been discussing these approaches and investigating new ones. We hope that our efforts will help us generate the best possible pageturner at a more reasonable price. Who ever thought turning a page would require so much brain power?

For more information, check out the Pageturner Design Team Home Page.