By Andrew Liszewski
This is definitely not the first LEGO Mindstorms image scanner I’ve seen. In fact Anders Søborg, who was responsible for building and programming this NXT version, also made a scanner using the original LEGO Mindstorms kit a few years ago. And while the results from the newer NXT-based image scanner are a lot better than what his older model was capable of, they can’t hold a candle to what you’d get from a real scanner. But when you consider that this scanner was created with what is essentially a set of toy building blocks, the results are actually pretty impressive.
Grayscale images are scanned using the NXT’s included light sensor, but color images can also be produced using the third-party HiTechnic Color Sensor. The images are saved as either 24-bit true color, 8-bit true color or grayscale bitmaps in the NXT’s flash memory. The NXT’s LCD screen is even used for adjusting the scanner’s settings like on a real model, though I imagine this version takes quite a bit longer to scan a full-sized page.
There’s a video of the NXT Image Scanner included after the jump, and if you feel like building your own, you can download the instructions as well as the scanner program from Anders’ website.