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Publication numberUS2039406 A
Publication typeGrant
Publication dateMay 5, 1936
Filing dateJan 2, 1931
Priority dateJan 2, 1931
Publication numberUS 2039406 A, US 2039406A, US-A-2039406, US2039406 A, US2039406A
InventorsGreensfelder Elmer L
Original AssigneeGreensfelder Elmer L
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Method of and apparatus for operating intelligence systems
US 2039406 A
Abstract  available in
Previous page
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Claims  available in
Description  (OCR text may contain errors)

May 5, 1936. E. 1.. GREENSFELDER METHOD OF AND APPARATUS FOR OPERATING INTELLIGENCE SYSTEMS 2 Sheets-Sheet l Filed Jan. 2, 1951 ill/1 IN VEN TOR. Elmer L Grcensfelder.


y 1935. E. 1.. GREENSFELDER 9,406


Elmer L .Grecnsfekier.



This invention relates to improvement in method of and apparatus for operating intelligence systems for enabling the blind to read ordinary newspapers, books, hand writing, cartoons, sketches, etc., and comprises a method for accomplishing the foregoing together with improved instrumentalities for carrying out said method.

An object of the invention is to provide a simple device adapted to scan-a page or other printed or written matter to be reproduced and to simultaneously reproduce the same in a series of dents or raised perforations forming letters, words, etc. on a second sheet of paper, or on a pin board by means of raised points.

Another object is to provide a device adapted to reproduce letters, words, etc. of greater dimension than the originals.

Another object is to provide a scanning unit containing an exciting lamp and a light sensitive cell in fixed angular relation to each other.

Still another object is to provide an electrically operated recording means adapted to record on a receiving medium or record such as a sheet of paper or the like. All moving parts associated with said means may be automatic or manual.

Other objects will be obvious to those skilled in the art upon perusal of the specification and appended claims.

The invention is based on the method ofreading letters and words in relief by the blind with the finger tips, and by means of this invention enlarged images in relief on a second sheet of paper are reproduced from printed or written pages to be read.

Hereinafter the sheet containing the printing, writing or sketches to be read, will be referred to as the page and the sheet upon which the page is reproduced or recorded in relief will be referred to as the record. These records are permanent and may be filed away to be reread or they may be passed on to other blind readers.

The preferred method consists in automatically scanning the page to be read with a narrow beam of light which strikes the page preferably at an angle. A light sensitive cell is so positioned in relation to the scanning beam that it receives the reflected light from the page, this position being substantially equal and opposite to the angle of the beam of light. The exciting lamp for furnishing the beam of light is connected to a source of current and a switch is provided to control the same.

The light sensitive cell is connected to an amplifier and/or relay or other suitable device for controlling a. magnetic switch which in turn operates a punching mechanism.

Every time the electro-magnet releases the armature of the switch, a circuit is completed through the punching device and a source of current, causing the arm carrying the punch to pierce, perforate or preferably make a dent in the record.

The punching mechanism and the scanning unit move in fixed relation to each other; however it is preferable that the path of travel of the former be greater than the-latter so that the raised reproduction will be substantially larger than the original matter on the page being scanned.

When the beam of light falls on a white portion of the page being scanned the light is reflected therefrom to the light sensitive cell and current flows and via the amplifier energizes the electro-magnets of the switch attracting the arm thereof and thereby opening the circuit controlling the punching device, and this circuit is open as long as the light beam is scanning the white page. I

As soon as the light beam falls on a dark portion of the page, such as type, handwriting, etc., no light is reflected to the cell and the current supplied the electro-magnets of the switch is reduced below a certain minimum, the armature of the switch is released and it moves by gravity, or otherwise, to its normal position, establishing a circuit in the punching device and causing the arm or hammer carrying the punch to strike the record and make a raised dot or perforation therein.

As the scanning unit traverses the page the -hammer'is actuated every time the light beam falls upon a dark spot, and as the scanner and the punching device are moved in a fixed relation to each other the result is a series of raised dots or perforations in the record comprising enlarged raised images of the matter on the page.

he scanning device preferably slices the type to be scanned, and the beam of light traversing the page horizontally would make several trips across in reproducing a line of type on the paper record, moving down a short distance after each trip across the page.

Referring to the drawings:-

Figure 1 is a view partly in perspective and partly diagrammatic showing'an arrangement of the device;

Figure 2 is an end view of the paper record carrier and its relation to the circular platen;

Figure 3 is a modification of the arrangement shown in Figure 2;

Figure 4 is a view, partly in section, of one form of the scanning device;

Figure 5 is an enlarged cross-section of a portion of the paper record showing several forms of raised dots, perforations, etc.;

Figure 6 is diagrammatic, showing the preferred path of travel of the scanning unit and the punching mechanism relative to the page and the record, and

Figure 7 is an enlarged top view of the hammer showing a toothed wheel substituted for the needle.

A source of light I0 which will hereinafter be referred to as an exciting lamp is mounted in a suitable socket II in a casing I2. This casing is supported on an arm I3 of any suitable shape at an angle to the vertical central stem I4. The opposite end of the arm I3 carries a second casing I5 suitably inclined at an equal and opposite angle to the vertical stem I4.

The second casing I5 has mounted therein a light sensitive cell I6 in a suitable socket H.

In the scanning device, Figure 4, the casing I2 may be provided with a lens I9 in a suitable holder I9 which may be moved in the casing to bring the light rays 2| to a focus on the page 20. This lens I8 may be single or multiple as desired, or suitable reflectors may be substituted therefor, the result being to bring the light rays 2I to a focus on the page. Likewise a lens 22 in a suitable holder 23 may be adjustably mounted in the casing I5, for gathering the reflected light Zia and passing the same on to the cell I6. The lenses are locked in position on assembly. It has been found that the cell I6 works very well without the lens 22, so in some cases it may be omitted.

In some cases it may be desirable to extend the casings I2 and I5 to a point nearer the page or even in contact with it, in which latter case outside light would not interfere with the operation of the scanning device.

The central stem I4 is hollow and carries on its lower end a presser foot 25 having a slot or opening 26 therein for the beam 2i to pass through. A rod 24, secured to a nut 29, extends into the hollow center of the stem I4 and a spring 21 therein serves to press the scanning unit downward with the presser foot 25 in contact with the page 20. The downward travel of the scanning unit may be limited by a slot in the stem I4 and a pin in the rod 24 (not shown) if desirable.

A threaded rod or lead screw 26 engages the nut 29 which is secured to the arm I3 and as this threaded rod 28 is rotated the nut 29 propels the scanning device across the page 20.

Terminals 33 are provided for the exciting lamp I9 and wires 3i lead therefrom to a source of current 32 and a switch 33.

The light sensitive cell socket I1 is provided with terminals 34 and wires 35 lead therefrom to a suitable amplifier unit 36 at 3'1. The wires 38 leading from an external source of current connect to the amplifier at 39. In some cases with certain types of light sensitive cells it may be necessary to use a relay in connection with the amplifier, but in such cases the relay may be built into the amplifier unit.

A magnetic switch designated generally by the numeral 42 has electro-magnets 43 and 44 connected by wires 4| to the output terminals 40 of the amplifier 36. When current flows through the windings of these electro-magnets 43, 44,

an armature 45 is attracted and held in the position shown in solid lines, Figure l. A member 46 is attached to this armature and carries contact points 41; 4B.

When no current flows in the windings of the electro-magnets 43, 44, that is when the beam of light 2| falls on a dark or black portion of a letter on the page 20 and no light is reflected to the cell I6, the armature 45 is released and falls down with the member 46 assuming the position shown dotted as 46a whereupon the contact o int 41 contacts with a point 49 and the point 49 makes contact with the point 58.

Wires 5I form a circuit including these contact points aforementioned, a source of current 62 and a punching device or hammer unit designated by the numeral 59. A switch 53 is also included in this circuit so that it may be opened and the circuit broken when the device is not in use.

The preferred form of punching unit or hammer device 56 consists of a casing 54, which has a hallow threaded portion membering up with a threaded rod or lead screw 60 and contains electro-magnets (not shown) adapted to actuate an arm 55, the outer end of which carries a hammer 56 with a needle or punch 51 supported thereon. I'his electro-magnet may be arranged so that the hammer makes a single stroke upon the completion of the circuit, or it may be arranged to vibrate the hammer.

The normal position of the hammer 56 is shown in solid lines Figure 2, and its striking position is shown in dotted lines.

The record 6I may be made of paper, thin metal or any other suitable material and preferably handled in the form of a roll so that it may be readily moved through the device, is carried on a shaft 62 and passes between rollers 63, B5 and a platen 64, and on to a take up shaft 66.

The lead screw 28 which propels the scanning device across the page 23 is inter-connected by gearing or other suitable driving means to the lead screw 60 which propels the hammer mechanism 58 across the record 6i, and as the hammer mechanism 58 must move a greater distance than the scanning mechanism to enlarge the record, the ratio of the threads on the respective lead screws may give this result or the threads on the lead screws may be the same and the gearing between these lead screws may give the desired ratio.

The lead screw 28 is provided with a gear l9 and the lead screw 60 is provided with a 19. A shaft is provided with a worm Bi meshing with the gear 18 at one end thereof, and a worm 92 at the other end thereof, meshing with the gear 79. The shaft 80 also carries a gear 83 which meshes with a worm 84 carried by the shaft 95. The shaft 95 is connected to the motor shaft 96 by means of a flexible coupling 97.

The motor 89 may be provided with terminals 99 which lead to its armature and terminals 90 which lead to its field windings.

A solenoid 9i actuates a pawl 92 which in turn moves the ratchet wheel 93 forward one tooth. This ratchet wheel is secured to a shaft 94 which carries feed rollers 95 and 96. These feed rollers engage the page 20, and rollers 97 and 99, positicned above the page, retain the same in engagement with the feed rollers 95 and 96.

A solenoid 99 actuates a pawl Ifill, which in turn moves the ratchet wheel I OI forward one tooth. The ratchet wheel IOI is secured to ashaft I92 which carries feed rollers, one of which is shown at I03, for feeding the record 6I step by step past the hammer unit 58. Suitable rollers, one of which is designated by the numeral I04, may'be provided for maintaining the record in contact with the feed rollers I03.

The gears 18, 19 and 83 and the worms 8I, 82 and 84 may be spiral or helical gears adapted to drive the lead screws 28 and in the same direction.

Contact arms I05 and I06, positioned in the path of the nut 29 at one end of the lead screw 28, and contact arms I01 and I08, positioned in the path of the nut 29 at the other end of the lead screw, are provided for energizing the solenoids in order to make the effective path of the scanning unit and of the hammer unit similar to the path illustrated in Figure 6.

The contact arm I05 and the contact arm I08 are connected together by a wire I09 and are in turn connected to one end of the solenoid 99 via the wire H0. The other end of the solenoid is connected via a wire III to one end of the solenoid 9I. The other end of the solenoid 9| is connected via a wire I I 2 and a wire I I3 to the negative side of the source of current 52.

The contact arms I06 and I01 are connected in common by a wire H4 and to one side of the switch 53 by means of wires I I5 and H6 so that with the switch 53 closed, the closing of the contact arms I05 and I06 or the closing of the contact arms I01 and I 08 will energize both solenoids. With the nut 29 of the scanning unit moving to the right, as shown in the top line of Figure 6, contact arms I01 and I08 will be closed and both. solenoids will be energized and the record 20 will be caused to move one step, at which time, under control of the solenoid device, the current of the motor 88 is reversed, thereby reversing the motor. This reversal may be accomplished as follows:

A disc H1 is provided with a plurality of metallic inserts, one of which is designated by the numeral I I8, there being one insert for each tooth in the ratchet wheel 93. Every other insert H8 is connected to a collector ring I I9 and those inserts between are connected to a collector ring I20.

The collector ring H9 is energized by current passing from the negativepole of the battery 52 via the wire II3 and the brush I2I. The other collector ring is fed from the positive terminal of the battery 52 (when the switch 52 is closed) via the wire I22 and the brush I23.

A brush I24 makes contact with one of the inserts I I8 and a brush I25 makes contact with an adjacent insert I I8. The brushes I24 and I25 are connected to the field winding terminals 90 of the motor via wires I26 and I21 respectively.

By this arrangement, the current through the field of the motor is reversed each time the ratchet Wheel is moved forward one tooth. The brush terminals 89 of the motor 88 are connected to the source of current 52 (when the switch 53 is closed) by means of wires I I6 and I28.

Due to the closure of the contact arms at' each end of the travel of the nut 29, the line of travel of the light beam in scanning the page is from left to right, then from right to left, etc., as shown diagrammatically in Figure 6, and the same relative travel obtains with the hammer mechanism with respect to the record. It is obvious that this relation may be reversed and the mechanism may be stationary and the page and record may move in respect thereto.

The scanning device traverses the page from right to left, then from left to right, etc. and makes several trips across the page in scanning a complete line of type and the number of trips across per line varies with the size of the type.

When the light beam 2I falls on a whiteportion of the page 20, reflected light 2 la fallsupon the active elements 01. the cell I6, current flows in the wires 35 to the amplifier 36 and the amplified current, via the wires 4|, energizes the magnet 44, 43 and the armature 45 is attracted thereto. Since the contacts .41, 49 and 48, 50 are open, no current flows in the hammer circuit, and the armature is held in this position as long as.a gvlhite portion of the page is under the light beam As soon as a black or dark portion of a letter or mark on the page 20 passes under the beam 2I, no light is reflected to the cell I6 so no current flows via the amplifier 36 to the magnets 43, 44, so the armature 45 falls, closing the contacts 41, 49 and 48, 50, whereupon current flows in the hammer circuit and the hammer 56 moves forward causing the punch 51 to make a dent or perforation in the record 6| against the platen 64.

In cases where the hammer is made to vibrate when its circuit is closed, a wide black space on the page will make a series of dents closer together.

Instead of having the hammer vibrate it may sometimes be desirable to have a wheel 51a hav- 1 ing a number of teeth 51b pivoted at 510 on the hammer 56, in which case when the hammer is held forward against the record 6I due to a substantial length of black on the page, the wheel 51a will rotate and the teeth 511) will make a I.

series of dents in the record.

The shape of the end of the punch 51 may be made blunt to push a dent in the record as shown at 15 (Figure 5), or it may be made sharp enough to pierce the record as shown at 16.

The record may be read while it is in the machine and a plate 61 (Figure 3) may be provided to back the record up as the reader passes his fingers over the same. It is obvious that a long scroll of record can be produced and after being read by one person it can be passed along to others.

It is also obvious that various colors of light may be used, and that the pages of material to be reproduced may be white or of any color, and where the print is only on one side of the paper the scanning beam could be on one side thereof and the cell could be on the other side just so they are in fixed relation to each other.

The hammer unit 58 could be arranged so that the punch 51 would strike the record SI when the light beam 2I shines on white parts of the page by arranging the magnetic switch 42 so that when the armature 45 is attracted the contacts 41, 49 and 48, 50 would thereby be closed instead of open, and when a dark or black part of the page is scanned the contacts would remain open and no blow would be struck and the result would be, a record with all the surface raised except Where the letters or words occur, in which case the record could be read from the reverse side.

A multiplicity of cells, light sources, and hammer units could be used so that several lines could be simultaneously scanned and recorded thus speeding up the work.

The invention is not limited to scanning and recording horizontally as it is obvious that it .could be done vertically and accomplish a similar result.

The page may be enlarged by projecting the same on to a screen or ground glass by usual and well known methods, and have the scanning .device scan the enlarged image or the page and if the projected image is the same size as the record the lead screw tor the scanning unit and the lead screw tor the recording device would feed the respective devices forward at the same speed.

When the device is scanning the untyped space between two successive lines or ahead 0! or at the end of a short line, the operator can feel or hear this wasted motion and save time by setting the scanning unit to the next line.

The paper or page is provided with a suitable holder (not shown) and the same is moved up as the scanning progresses as described above.

The record is always moved up or shifted, in the direction of the arrow, through a greater dis tance than the corresponding movement of the page or the scanning unit, as this gives an en larged reproduction vertically.

It is obvious that the scanning mechanism may be moved down (or up) step by step instead of having the page move as lierein'oefore described.

An al ternative means for carrying out the above method would be to substitute tor the paper rec" 0rd a pin board or cylinder containing many rows oi raisable pins so arranged that those struck by the hammer device would rise to a higher level than those not struck, and remain retained this position by suitable locking mechanism. Thus when a page has been scanned, a series oi pins corresponding to the type stands up above "the level of the other pins and can be readily read with the finger tips, This is of coursenot new manent record as the retaining device may be actuated and the pins released, whereupon the device is ready to be over again. This akin to the erasing oi? writing on a slate or black board.

The motion of the scanning device across the page and the recording device across the record may be intermittent, similar to the motion of typewriter carriage. In such arrangement the motion of these parts may be controlled by suitable escapernents, the recording mechanism being moved by a larger escapenrent than the one moving the scanning unit. It may also be desirable in some cases to have the above devices move in one direction and reset them when the end of the travel is reached.

Many variations can be made in the apparatus described. without departing from the spirit oi. the invention.

I clan-o:

1. In cori'ibiuation, page to be scanned, a scanning device ndapbrl to he messed over a lend-screw for lung said device, a flexible record strip, a recording device including an impact tool adopted to be csscd over record, and record matter there of raised perforations or dents, a leer screw for pro" polling said last device, moans be vccn load screws to cause one oi ices propelled thereby to move a greater rela, e distance than the other, means for moving said page and sold record step by step at an angle to the movement of said devices between the operation thereof, and means cooperating with said last means for si multaneously reversing the rotation of said leadscrews therewith.

2. In a device of the character described, a movable scanner comprising a frame having a center column extending downwardly, a presser ioot resiliently supported by said column, a light sensitive cell positioned on said frame, an exciting lamp posltoned on said frame in angular relation to said cell, a lens for said cell, and a second lens for said lamp, said lenses having a common focal point adjacent to said presser foot.

3. In a. device of the character described, matter to be scanned, a scanning device movable relatively thereto, said device including a lamp and a light sensitive cell, means for focusing a beam of light from said lamp on a portion of said matter, means for concentrating reflected light from said matter on said cell, a record sheet, and a round impact tool magnetically actuated under control oi said cell and mechanically moved relative to said record sheet in timed relation to the movement of scanning device.

1. In a device of the character iflescribed, matter to be scanned, scanning device, means for moving said matter and device relative to each other, light so -sitivc means on said scanning device, a circuit ncluciing said. light sensitive means and an amplifier, relay connected to the output circuit of said and a source of current, a record, and a recording device including a single impact tool znecir icolly moved relative to said r cord. and electrically actuated under control of said relay for permanently accruing said matter in the form of raised perforations or dents.

5. In combination, an object to be scan" scanning menus including a light sensitive c. i merit movably positioned relative to said object and arranged to be moved back and forth to scan the some, n. flexible record sheet, recording mach" anism movably positioned relative to said record and arranged to 'ismoved back and forth. in time with the movement of said element to record in said record 'ies oi raised. perforations or in the same actual outline matter on the object scanned, the path of movement of said record- 121g mechanism being longer than that ol said scanning thereby producing record larger than the object scanned.

5. In combination, an object to be scanned, a scanning device including exciting lamp and light sensitive means fixed relative to each other and mo /ably positioned relative to said object and adapted to scan the some in parallel lines there over, a circuit including said light sensitive means, recording means in said circuit controlled by said light sensitive means, record material and means for supporting the same in operative relation to said recording means, means for moving: said recording means timed relation to .c movement of said scanner device and means sociated with said recording means to for oerrnanent flexible record comprised of a oi raised perforations or dents discernible by touch the some actual outline as matter on the ob-- ject to be scanned.

T. in a device of the character dc a scann rod, c. device adapted to oistinguisli light and darlr lotions said o, fiexiiilo sheet, a punching mechanism adopted to be coirtrolled by said scanning device, means for moving said scanning device back and forth. over said page, means for moving said punching n1ecl1anism back and forth over said sheet in definite timed relation to the movement of said scanning device, and an amplifier adapted to amplify im pulses in accordance with said variations and to deliver amplified impulses to said punching mechanism to produce indentations in said sheet, thereby producing on said sheet matter from said page in actually the same outline.

8. In a device of the class described, an object to be scanned, a scanning device including a light sensitive cell, an exciting lamp and a movable support, recording mechanism, a flexible metallic rec 3rd, and means for simultaneously moving said scanning device and recording mechanism in definite timed relation to each other whereby a record composed of a series of raised perforations or dents in actually the same configuration as that of matter on the page to be scanned will be produced caused by the Variations in color or intensity of light reflected irom the object being scanned.

9. In a device of the character described, a page having matter thereon optically distinguishable from the page, a device including photoelectric means for scanning said page, a reproducing device and means connected to said devices to operate the same simultaneously in definite timed relation to each other to scan said page and to permanently reproduce in flexible sheet material raised dents corresponding'to the optically .distinguishable matter thereon, said dents being recognizable by touch actually in the same configuration as said optically distinguishable matter.

10. In a device of the character described, a scanning unit comprising a supporting frame, a source of light supported thereon, a light sensitive cell carried on said frame in fixed relation to said source of light, matter to be scanned, means including a member contacting with said matter for positioning said frame relative to said matter, means for moving said frame relative to said matter, and means controlled by said cell for recording in a flexible sheet representations of said matter in relief, said representations having the same actual form and outline as that of said matter.


Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US2575742 *May 13, 1947Nov 20, 1951Transcontinental Television InDevice for copying records on a proportional scale
US2782528 *Aug 27, 1952Feb 26, 1957Wastl Max EReader training device
US2897481 *Dec 17, 1953Jul 28, 1959Intelligent Machines Res CorpApparatus for reading
US3036497 *Oct 19, 1959May 29, 1962Logetronics IncPhotographic dodging apparatus
US3270319 *Nov 19, 1962Aug 30, 1966Ncr CoCharacter recognition system having error detection means
US3736672 *Dec 29, 1971Jun 5, 1973Lawrie JReading machine for the blind
US3768180 *Feb 9, 1972Oct 30, 1973Saab Scania AbGraphic figure reproduction for visually impaired students
US4143809 *Oct 11, 1977Mar 13, 1979Hewlett-Packard CompanyOptical bar code reader
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US5362953 *Aug 18, 1992Nov 8, 1994Intermec CorporationReading apparatus with separate illumination and detection optical axes
US5479002 *Dec 29, 1994Dec 26, 1995Symbol Technologies, Inc.Bar code scanner with scanning beam and/or field of view adjustable about three mutually orthogonal axes
US5866894 *Mar 18, 1997Feb 2, 1999Symbol Technologies, Inc.Electro-optical scanner module having oscillating lens
US7651454 *Jan 26, 2010Bobst S.A.Braille printing device
US20080146428 *Nov 30, 2007Jun 19, 2008Jacques ReymondBraille printing device
U.S. Classification358/401, 358/303, 434/114, 400/109.1, 358/451, 348/62, 178/17.00D, 382/114, 369/223, 369/258.1, 358/474, 235/470, 358/497
International ClassificationB41J3/00, B41J3/32
Cooperative ClassificationB41J3/32
European ClassificationB41J3/32