|Publication number||USRE42498 E1|
|Application number||US 11/256,619|
|Publication date||Jun 28, 2011|
|Priority date||Jun 22, 1999|
|Also published as||US6636335|
|Publication number||11256619, 256619, US RE42498 E1, US RE42498E1, US-E1-RE42498, USRE42498 E1, USRE42498E1|
|Inventors||Ming-Chung Tang, John Lin|
|Original Assignee||Transpacific Opties LLC|
|Export Citation||BiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan|
|Patent Citations (10), Classifications (39), Legal Events (2)|
|External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet|
A. Field of the Invention
The present invention is an image information reading device, especially to a wide image scanner which can scan the image of a large scale original using only an image sensor of a regular size.
B. Description of the Prior Art
A conventional scanner is designed for the most commonly used size of documents, such as A4, A3, B4, or even B3 sizes. The width of an image reading device, such as a Charge Coupled Device (CCD) or a Contact Image Sensor (CIS), is also designed wide enough to finish reading the image of the regular-sized original in a single pass. For scanning large scale sheets, such as posters or newspapers, the user would have to manually operate the scanner to scan the original portion by portion. Then, after the image of the entire original has been scanned, the user has to merge corresponding portions together by an application software. Such procedure is very tedious and time consuming. On the other hand, if the user would like to scan the large-scaled original in a single pass, the width of the image reading device must be wide enough to cover the width of the original. However, since such wide image reading device is very expensive, the implementation cost for the entire scanner will be very high.
Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention to provide a wide image scanner which can read a large scale original using a regular-sized image reading device, thereby to reduce the implementation cost.
It is another object of the present invention to provide a structure and mechanism for a wide image scanner which can automatically determine the number of passes for scanning the entire image of the original portion by portion without human operation.
In accordance with the present invention, the preferred embodiment of the present invention preferably includes a sliding shaft, an image reading device, a number of width sensors, a paper edge sensor, and a control module. On one side of the housing, there is a paper feeding opening for inputting an original. Inside the housing and close to the paper feeding opening, there is a set of rollers cooperating to form a nip so as to allow the original to pass therebetween. On the opposite side of the housing, there is a paper output opening for the original to output. Inside the housing and close to the paper output opening, there is the other set of rollers cooperating to form a nip for the original to pass through. A transparent sheet supporting plate is disposed on the same horizontal plane of the nips of the rollers to support the sheet while the sheet is driven back and forth by the two sets of rollers. An image reading device is mounted on a sliding shaft and below the transparent sheet supporting plate for reading the image of the original line by line.
At one side of the housing, there is a paper edge sensor for detecting the end edge of the origin. When detecting the end edge of the origin, the paper edge sensor generates a vertical control signal to a control module. Upon receiving the vertical control signal, the control module will enable the two sets of rollers to rotate in an opposite direction. While the origin is fed into the housing, the paper width sensors located on the inner top of the housing detect the side edge of the original and generate horizontal control signals to the control module. Upon receiving the horizontal control signals, the control module will set the number of horizontal displacement times and then enable the driving device to move the image reading device to a next displacement position every time when the origin is driven to an end. The procedure continues until the image reading device has been moved to a final displacement position predetermined by the horizontal control signal. Consequently, the entire image of the origin can automatically be read portion by portion without manual operation.
These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent by reference to the following description and accompanying drawings wherein:
A preferred embodiment of the invention is described below. This embodiment is merely exemplary. Those skilled in the art will appreciate that changes can be made to the disclosed embodiment without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention.
The preferred embodiment of the present invention is illustrated in FIG. 1. It comprises an image reading device 11, a driving device 12, two sets of roller pairs 13a, 13b, a paper edge sensor 14, a transparent sheet supporting plate 19, and multiple paper width sensors 15a, 15b, 15c. The relative positions of these elements can be shown more clearly by referring to FIG. 2.
The housing 17 is in a shape of cylindrical. On one side of the housing 17, there is a paper feeding opening 18a. On the opposite side of the housing 17, there is a paper output opening 18b. Inside the housing 17, there is a roller pair 13a close to the paper feeding opening 18a, and a roller pair 13b close to the paper output opening 18b respectively. Each roller pair 13, 13b cooperating to form a nip for an original to pass through. The roller pairs 13, 13b also determine the direction of the vertical movement of the original.
On one side of the housing 17, there is a paper edge sensor 14 for detecting the front edge or the end edge of the original and generating a vertical control signal to the control module 21 upon the presence of the edge of the original. Upon receiving the vertical control signal, the control module 21 will enable the two sets of roller pairs 13a, 13b to rotate in a first direction for driving the original progressively from one end to the opposite end. The image reading device 11 will read the image of the origin line by line while the origin is passing through the transparent sheet support plate 19. The image reading device 11 can be a regular sized contact type image sensor or a charged coupled device.
The transparent sheet support plate 19 is made of comparable material such as glass or acrylic. Since the transparent sheet support plate 19 is on the same horizontal plane of the nips of the rollers 13a, 13b, it functions as a guiding device to guide the origin from an opening to the other opening.
The image reading device 11 can be driven horizontally by the driving device 12. The driving device comprises a sliding shaft (not shown), a conveying element 122, such as a timing belt or a steel string, and a motor 123. The motor 123 is then driven by the control module 21. The image reading device 11 is mounted on the sliding shaft and controllable by the conveying element 122 to move reciprocally on the sliding shaft in response to the control of the control module 21.
The control module 21 is an electric circuit for controlling the entire driving mechanism of the scanner. The control module 21 can predetermine the displacement positions for image reading device 11. The displacement positions refer to the location for the image reading device 11 to start reading a portion of the large scale origin. In other words, the displacement positions indicates the positions for merging two corresponding images. The distance between two displacement positions will be less or equal to the width of the image reading device 11. Consequently, the entire image of the original can be efficiently merged.
On top of the transparent plate 19 and corresponding to each displacement position, there are multiple width sensors 15a, 15b, 15c for detecting the width of the original, and generating a horizontal control signal to the control module 21. Each of the multiple width sensors 15a, 15b, 15c can detect an object as the light emitted by the sensors is blocked by an object. Accordingly, if the width of the original is twice than the width of the image reading device 11, then two multiple width sensors will detect the origin and send the horizontal control signals to the control module 21. From the horizontal control signals received, the control module 21 will determine the number of displacement times for moving the image reading device 11. In this case, the displacement times will be set to 1.
The operations of the preferred embodiment is illustrated in FIG. 3. Refer to FIG. 3:
To sum up, the present invention provides a wide image scanner with a structure which can automatically determine the number of times for horizontal displacement, thereby to scan the entire image of the original portion by portion. The wide image scanner of the present invention is operated completely automatically and without human operations. Moreover, the present invention uses a regular sized image reading device so the manufacturing cost for the scanner can be reduced.
A preferred embodiment has been described in detail hereinablove. It is to be understand that he scope of the invention also comprehends embodiments different from the one described, yet within the scope of the claims. For example, the transparent sheet support plate could be made of other comparable materials. Also, the housing could be of shapes other than cylindrical, such as rectangular, as long as it provides openings for the input and output of the original. And the number of paper width sensors is not limited to three as described in FIG. 1. It should be understood that various alternatives to the structures described herein may be employed in practicing the present invention. It is intended that the following claims define the invention and that the structure within the scope of these claims and their equivalents be covered thereby.
|Cited Patent||Filing date||Publication date||Applicant||Title|
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|U.S. Classification||358/496, 358/498, 358/487, 358/474, 358/449, 358/488|
|International Classification||H04N1/04, H04N1/12|
|Cooperative Classification||H04N1/0402, H04N1/0405, H04N1/00702, H04N1/00774, H04N2201/04755, H04N1/00748, H04N1/00734, H04N1/0455, H04N1/128, H04N1/1911, H04N1/00681, H04N1/121, H04N1/00713, H04N1/00755, H04N1/0074, H04N1/0443, H04N1/0071|
|European Classification||H04N1/04D, H04N1/00G, H04N1/00G3C, H04N1/00G4E, H04N1/12K5, H04N1/00G2D2, H04N1/00G2C, H04N1/04D2, H04N1/00G3C2B, H04N1/04D7J, H04N1/00G5E, H04N1/00G4C, H04N1/04D7M, H04N1/00G2D3|
|May 29, 2015||REMI||Maintenance fee reminder mailed|
|Oct 21, 2015||LAPS||Lapse for failure to pay maintenance fees|