If you've ever had the pleasure of trying to convert loads of physical documents or photos into digital form, it can be kind of a pain. It's not that moving a document into a scanner and pressing scan is difficult, but if you have a few hundred (or even thousand) pictures or documents in queue, it can be quite the time consuming task. This build, called Project Gado, from SparkFun customer Tom Smith is an open-source automatic archiving robot for individuals or small museums. Check it out!
The way it works is pretty straight-forward. The brains of Project Gado consist of an Arduino and a ProtoShield connected via USB to a PC running python. The Arduino controls a robotic arm with a suction cup that grabs a photo/document and lifts it to the awaiting scanner.
The scanner then closes and processes the image. The suction cup returns, takes the photo to the output bin where a camera takes a shot of the backside (in case any important information is there). You might wonder why they don't use an automatic document feeder, but many of these photos and documents are very old and could get ripped up going through your standard printer. This is an awesome and very useful project! Great work, Tom!