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LEGO & Raspberry Pi OCR Hack Now Reads Books Aloud, Still Sounds Horrible

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Written by Lambert Varias | May 12, 2014

Last year we featured Dexter Industries’ Bookreader, a device mostly made of LEGO and a Raspberry Pi that can read text from a Nexus 7 tablet. It seems like the contraption was a hit, but people kept telling the company to make one that can read actual books on its own. So Dexter Industries made the Bookreader 2.


The Bookreader 2 reads just like its predecessor. A Raspberry Pi Camera capture an image of the page to be read. An OCR program extracts text out of the image. Finally a text-to-speech program reads the extracted text aloud in an impatient and cold tone. In case you need a reminder of how it sounds, here’s the Bookreader at work:

What made the Bookreader 2 challenging is that it had to turn a book’s pages as well. The engineering and the math behind that seemingly simple task are more complicated compared to aiming an arm to push a tablet’s screen. To accomplish this, Dexter Industries used two EV3 Mindstorms motors. One motor powers a wheel to lift a page, and the other motor rotates an arm 360º to turn the page. Check out Dexter Industries’ guide to see how you can build your own Bookreader 2.

[via Hack A Day]