WO2008057746A2 - Image capture unit with removable divider for defining one or two original feed paths for single or double sided mage capture - Google Patents

Image capture unit with removable divider for defining one or two original feed paths for single or double sided mage capture Download PDF

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Publication number
WO2008057746A2
WO2008057746A2 PCT/US2007/082091 US2007082091W WO2008057746A2 WO 2008057746 A2 WO2008057746 A2 WO 2008057746A2 US 2007082091 W US2007082091 W US 2007082091W WO 2008057746 A2 WO2008057746 A2 WO 2008057746A2
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WO
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Application
Patent type
Prior art keywords
image capture
media
capture window
divider
window
Prior art date
Application number
PCT/US2007/082091
Other languages
French (fr)
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WO2008057746A3 (en )
Inventor
Guy T. Verbest
Original Assignee
Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P.
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Classifications

    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00538Modular devices, i.e. allowing combinations of separate components, removal or replacement of components
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G15/00Apparatus for electrographic processes using a charge pattern
    • G03G15/60Apparatus which relate to the handling of originals
    • G03G15/605Holders for originals or exposure platens
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00538Modular devices, i.e. allowing combinations of separate components, removal or replacement of components
    • H04N1/00541Modular devices, i.e. allowing combinations of separate components, removal or replacement of components with detachable image reading apparatus
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00551Top covers or the like
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00551Top covers or the like
    • H04N1/00554Latches or hinges therefor
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00557Connection or assembly of components or elements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/00519Constructional details not otherwise provided for, e.g. housings, covers
    • H04N1/00559Mounting or support of components or elements
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/0083Arrangements for transferring signals between different components of the apparatus, e.g. arrangements of signal lines or cables
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/04Scanning arrangements, i.e. arrangements for the displacement of active reading or reproducing elements relative to the original or reproducing medium, or vice versa
    • H04N1/203Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/04Scanning arrangements, i.e. arrangements for the displacement of active reading or reproducing elements relative to the original or reproducing medium, or vice versa
    • H04N1/203Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet
    • H04N1/2032Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet of two pictures corresponding to two sides of a single medium
    • H04N1/2034Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet of two pictures corresponding to two sides of a single medium at identical corresponding positions, i.e. without time delay between the two image signals
    • HELECTRICITY
    • H04ELECTRIC COMMUNICATION TECHNIQUE
    • H04NPICTORIAL COMMUNICATION, e.g. TELEVISION
    • H04N1/00Scanning, transmission or reproduction of documents or the like, e.g. facsimile transmission; Details thereof
    • H04N1/04Scanning arrangements, i.e. arrangements for the displacement of active reading or reproducing elements relative to the original or reproducing medium, or vice versa
    • H04N1/203Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet
    • H04N1/2036Simultaneous scanning of two or more separate pictures, e.g. two sides of the same sheet of a plurality of pictures corresponding to a single side of a plurality of media
    • GPHYSICS
    • G03PHOTOGRAPHY; CINEMATOGRAPHY; ELECTROGRAPHY; HOLOGRAPHY
    • G03GELECTROGRAPHY; ELECTROPHOTOGRAPHY; MAGNETOGRAPHY
    • G03G2215/00Apparatus for electrophotographic processes
    • G03G2215/00172Apparatus for electrophotographic processes relative to the original handling
    • G03G2215/00177Apparatus for electrophotographic processes relative to the original handling for scanning
    • G03G2215/00181Apparatus for electrophotographic processes relative to the original handling for scanning concerning the original's state of motion
    • G03G2215/00194Apparatus for electrophotographic processes relative to the original handling for scanning concerning the original's state of motion original either moving or at rest
    • G03G2215/00202Apparatus for electrophotographic processes relative to the original handling for scanning concerning the original's state of motion original either moving or at rest where separate scanning surfaces are used

Abstract

An image capture system utilizes a divider to form different media feed paths along mutually facing. image capture windows. The divider comprises a module or unit configured to be selectively positioned between two image capture windows, so as to convert a single media feed path between the image capture windows for dual sided image capture to a pair of separate media feed paths : a first feed path extending between the divider and the first image capture window and a second feed path extending between the divider and the second image capture window.

Description

DIVIDER

BACKGROUND

[0001] One-sided and two-sided documents are often electronically archived by electronically capturing images of the documents. Such archiving is tedious, time- consuming and may utilize complex image capturing devices.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0002] Figure 1 is a front elevational view schematically illustrating an image capture system according to an example embodiment.

[0003] Figure 2 is a side elevational view schematically illustrating the image capture system of Figure 1 according to an example embodiment.

[0004] Figure 3 is a side elevational view of the image capture system of Figure 2 schematically illustrating the system in a multi-sided image capture mode according to an example embodiment.

[0005] Figure 4 is a front elevational view of the image capture system of Figure 1 schematically illustrating the system with a divider in place according to an example embodiment.

[0006] Figure 5 is a side elevational view schematically illustrating the image capture system of Figure 4 with the divider in place according to an example embodiment.

[0007] Figure 6 is a side elevational view of the system of Figure 5 schematically illustrating the system in a single-sided, multi-sheet image capture mode according to an example embodiment.

[0008] Figure 7 is a side elevational view schematically illustrating the image capture system of Figure 5 with an upper portion pivoted to an open position according to an example embodiment [0009] Figure 8 is an enlarged fragmentary side elevational view of the image capture system of Figure 7 taken along line 8 — 8 according to an example embodiment. [0010] Figure 9 is a top perspective view of another embodiment of the divider of the image capture system of Figure 1 according to an example embodiment. [0011] Figure 10 is a sectional view schematically illustrating the divider of Figure 9 according to an example embodiment.

[0012] Figure 11 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the image capture system of Figure 1 schematically illustrating the system in a multi-sided image capture mode according to an example embodiment.

[0013] Figure 12 is a side elevational view of another embodiment of the image capture system of Figure 1 schematically illustrating the system in a multi-sided, multi- sheet image capture mode according to an example embodiment.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE EXAMPLE EMBODIMENTS

[0014] Figures 1 and 2 schematically illustrate image capture system 20 according to one embodiment. Figure 1 is a front elevational view while Figure 2 is a side elevational view with the trace of the image capture system 20 omitted for purposes of illustration. Image capture system 20 is configured to capture images contained on one or both sides of one or more faces of one or more sheets of media. For purposes of this disclosure, the capture of images shall mean the sensing of text and/or graphics upon a medium and the creation of one or more electronic or digital files or records based upon the sensing of text and/or graphics. As will be described in more detail hereafter, image capture system 20 provides a single system which enables images upon two opposite faces of a sheet of medium to be concurrently captured or enables images of two or more separate sheets to be concurrently captured.

[0015] Image capture system 20 includes lower image capture unit 22, support 24, upper image capture unit 26 and divider 28. Lower image capture unit 22 is configured to capture images upon a face of a medium. Lower image capture unit 22 also serves as a base for system 20. Lower image capture unit 22 includes media input tray 30, media drive member 32, media drive member 36, torque source 38, image capture window 40, image capture component 42, controller 44 and media output tray 46. Media input tray

30 comprises one or more structures configured to support and/or store sheets of media containing images printed or otherwise formed on a face of such sheets prior to interaction with image capture component 42. Tray 30 may have various configurations or may be omitted.

[0016] Media drive member 32 comprises one or more structures configured to be driven by torque source 38 and to engage a leading edge of a sheet upon tray 30 to move a sheet upon tray 30 across image capture window 40. In one embodiment, media drive member 32 comprises one or more rollers configured to frictionally engage a sheet of media. Such rollers are operably coupled to torque source 38.

[0017] Media drive member 36 comprises one or more structures configured to be driven by torque source 38 and to engage a leading edge of a sheet upon image capture window 40 to move the sheet from image capture window 40 to output tray 46. In one embodiment, media drive member 36 comprises one or more rollers configured to frictionally engage a sheet of media. Such rollers are operably coupled to torque source

38.

[0018] Torque source 38 comprises a source of mechanical power or torque configured to drive media drive members 32 and 36. In one embodiment, torque source 38 comprises a motor operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive trains 50

(schematically represented by lines). Drive trains 50 comprise a series of gears, chain and sprocket assemblies, belt and pulley assemblies and the like configured to transmit torque from torque source 38 to media drive member 32 and 36. In the example embodiment illustrated, torque source 38 is further configured to supply power to and to drive divider 28.

[0019] Image capture window 40 comprises a clear or transparent window configured to support an overlying sheet of media while permitting images upon a face of a sheet of media that face window 40 to be captured by image capture component 42. In operation, images upon the sheet of media are captured through image capture window 40. Image capture window 40 generally lies between media drive members 32 and 36 and faces up toward capture unit 26.

[0020] Image capture component 42 comprises a component or element configured to capture or sense images (text, graphics and the like), upon a face of a sheet of media through image capture window 40. In one embodiment, image capture component 42 comprises a scanning element which is moved across or along image capture window 40. In one embodiment, image capture component 42 emits light towards image capture window 40 and senses light reflected from the face of the sheet of media through image capture window 40, wherein electrical signals representing the images upon the sheet of media are generated in response to the sense reflected light to form a digital record or file of the sensed images. In yet another embodiment, image capture component 42 may comprise a camera, a charge coupled device, or other optical sensing device which captures a part of or an entirety of images (text, graphics, pictures, photographs, drawings and the like) upon the sheet of media.

[0021] Controller 44 generates control signals directing the operation of torque source 38 and image capture component 42. As a described hereafter, controller 44 further generates control signals directing the operation of upper capture unit 26 and divider 28. Controller 44 includes processing unit 52 and memory 54. For purposes of this application, the term "processing unit" shall mean a processing unit that executes sequences of instructions contained in a memory, for example, memory 54. Execution of the sequences of instructions causes the processing unit to perform steps such as generating control signals and processing data. The instructions may be loaded in a random access memory (RAM) for execution by the processing unit from a read only memory (ROM), a mass storage device, or some other persistent storage. In other embodiments, hard wired circuitry may be used in place of or in combination with software instructions to implement the functions described. For example, controller 44 may be embodied as part of one or more application-specific integrated circuits (ASICs). Unless otherwise specifically noted, the controller is not limited to any specific combination of hardware circuitry and software, nor to any particular source for the instructions executed by the processing unit.

[0022] Memory 54 comprises a form of persistent storage configured to store and contain instructions for processing unit 52. Memory 54 is further configured to at least temporarily store digital or electronic files representing images sensed from the one or more sheets of media. In other embodiments, memory 54 may alternatively simply contain instructions for processing unit 52, wherein captured images are stored on other memory.

[0023] Output tray 46 comprises one or more structures configured to receive and store sheets of media after images upon such sheets have been captured by lower capture unit 22. Output tray 46 may have various configurations. In some embodiments, output tray 46 may be omitted.

[0024] Support 24 comprises a post, bracket or other structure extending from unit 22 and configured to support or elevate at least one of upper capture unit 26 and divider 28 above lower image capture unit 22. In the example embodiment illustrated, support 24 further facilitates a torque transmission connection between torque source 38 and divider 28. Support 24 includes divider interconnect 60 and upper image capture unit interface 62.

[0025] Divider interconnect 60 comprises an interface facilitating connection of divider 28 to support 24 with divider elevated above image capture window 40 by one or more predetermined distances. In one embodiment, interconnect 60 is configured to support divider 28 at a spacing from image capture window 40 such that media drive members of divider 28 matingly engage a single sheet of paper while the paper is resting upon image capture window 40. In the particular example illustrated in which divider 28 includes one or more media drive members, interconnect 60 further facilitates the transmission of torque from torque source 38 to the one or more media drive members of divider 28. For example, in one embodiment, system 20 includes drive trains 66, 68, 70 and 72 extending from torque source 38 to interconnect 60. Each of drive trains 66-72 comprises a series of one or more gears, chain and sprocket assemblies, belt and pulley arrangements and the like terminating at a gear, sprocket or other torque transmission member at interconnect 60. Upon connection of divider 28 to interconnect 60, the terminal gear, sprocket or other torque transmission member at interconnect 60 intermesh or otherwise connect with a corresponding drive train of divider 28 to transmit torque. In other embodiments where divider 28 is provided with its own torque source, such drive trains at interconnect 60 may be omitted.

[0026] As further shown by Figure 1 and Figure 2, interconnect 60 further includes a sensor 74. Sensor 74 detects either the presence or the absence of divider 28 at interconnect 60 and communicates such information to controller 44. In one embodiment, sensor 74 may comprise terminal points of an electrical circuit which is completed upon connection of divider 28 to interconnect 60. In other embodiments, sensor 74 may comprise other optical or other sensing devices. In yet other embodiments, sensor 74 may be omitted. [0027] Upper image capture unit interface 62 comprises one or more structures configured to cooperate with upper image capture unit 26 to retain upper image capture unit 26 at one or more predetermined positions or spacings relative to image capture window 40 of lower image capture unit 22 and relative to divider 28 when divider 28 is connected at interconnect 60. In one embodiment, interface 62 may comprise a series of detents, such as notches, openings, teeth and the like configured to receive one or more projections associated with unit 26. In yet other embodiments, interface 62 may comprise one or more projections configured to engage or be received by one or more notches, openings, teeth and the like associated with unit 26. In still other embodiments, interface 62 may have other configurations facilitating releasable locking or securement of unit 26 relative to support 24 and relative to unit 22 in a generally vertical direction. [0028] Upper image capture unit 26 is configured to capture images upon a face of a medium. Upper image capture unit 26 includes body 80, media drive member 82, media drive member 86, torque source 88 (shown in Figure 2), image capture window 90 and image capture component 92. Body 80 houses and supports the remaining components of capture unit 26 while facilitating selective repositioning of image capture window 90. Body 80 generally includes lower portion 94 upper portion 96 and hinge 98. Lower portion 94 extends along support 24 to facilitate connection of body 80 to support 24. Lower portion 94 includes interconnect 100 and pivot stop 102. Interconnect 100 comprises one or more structures configured to selectively engage interface 62 to selectively retain image capture window 90 and the remainder of unit 26 at one of various selected positions or heights relative to image capture window 40 of unit 22. In one embodiment, interconnect 100 may comprise one or more projections configured to be received within one or more corresponding opposite detents of interface 62. In other embodiments, this relationship may be reversed.

[0029] Pivot stop 102 comprises a surface extending from a remainder of lower portion 94 configured to limit pivoting of upper portion 96 about hinge 98. In one embodiment, pivot stop 102 comprises a ledge proximate hinge 98. In other embodiments, other structures may be used to control pivoting of upper portion 96 about hinge 98. [0030] Upper portion 96 comprises that portion of body 80 housing and supporting media drive members 82, 86, image capture window 90 and image capture component 92. In the example embodiment illustrated, upper portion 96 further includes a channel 104 configured to slidably receive support 24 as upper portion 96 is raised or lowered relative to lower image capture unit 22.

[0031] Hinge 98 pivotably connects upper portion 96 relative to lower portion 94.

Hinge 98 facilitates pivoting of portion 96 in a clockwise direction (as seen in Figure 2) to provide greater access to image capture window 40 when divider 28 is omitted or to interconnect 60 when divider 28 is to be connected. In addition, hinge 98 facilitates pivoting of upper portion 96 to enable a sheet can be laid onto either image capture window 40 or divider 28 from overhead rather than from a side. In other embodiments, hinge 98 may be omitted. In such embodiments omitting hinge 98, stop 102 may also be omitted.

[0032] Media drive member 82 comprises one or more structures configured to be driven by torque source 88 and to engage a leading edge of a sheet upon tray 30 (when divider 28 is omitted or withdrawn) to move a sheet upon tray 30 across image capture window 40 and across image capture window 90. In one embodiment, media drive member 82 comprises one or more rollers configured fractionally engage a sheet of media. Such rollers are operably coupled to torque source 88.

[0033] Media drive member 86 comprises one or more structures configured to be driven by torque source 88 and to engage a leading edge of a sheet upon image capture window 40 and opposite image capture window 90 to move the sheet from image capture windows 40 and 90 to output tray 46 (when divider 28 is withdrawn). In one embodiment, media drive member 86 comprises one or more rollers configured to frictionally engage a sheet of media. Such rollers are operably coupled to torque source

88.

[0034] Torque source 88 comprises a source of mechanical power or torque configured to drive media drive member's 82 and 86. In one embodiment, torque source 88 comprises a motor operably coupled to torque source 88 by drive trains 106

(schematically represented by lines). Drive train 106 comprises a series of gears, chain and sprocket assemblies, belt and pulley assemblies and the like configured to transmit torque from torque source 88 to media drive members 82 and 86.

[0035] Image capture window 90 comprises a clear or transparent window configured to support in overlying sheet of media while permitting images upon a face of a sheet of media that face window 90 to be captured by image capture component 92. In operation, images upon the sheet of media are captured through image capture window 90. Image capture window 90 generally lies between media drive members 82 and 86 and faces down towards capture unit 22.

[0036] Image capture component 92 comprises a component or element configured to capture or sense images (text, graphics and the like), upon a face of a sheet of media through image capture window 90. In one embodiment, image capture component 92 comprises a scanning element which is moved across or along image capture window 90. In one embodiment, image capture component 92 emits light towards image capture window 90 and senses light reflected from the face of the sheet of media through image capture window 90, wherein electrical signals representing the images upon the sheet of media are generated in response to the sense reflected light to form a digital record or file of the sensed images. In yet another embodiment, image capture component 92 may comprise a camera, a charge coupled device (CCD), or other optical sensing device which captures a part of or in entirety of images upon the sheet of media. [0037] Image capture component 92 and torque source 88 are controlled via control signals from controller 44 received through signal communicating lines 106 and 108. In one embodiment, such signal communication lines 106,108 are provided by one or more flexible wires or flexible circuits, facilitating pivoting of upper portion 96 about hinge 98. In other embodiments where upper portion 96 is not pivoted relative to lower portion 94, inflexible signal transmitting lines may be employed. In still other embodiments, such communication of control signals to component 92 and torque source 88 may be performed wirelessly.

[0038] Divider 28 comprises a module or unit configured to be selectively positioned between image capture windows 40 and 90 of units 22 and 26, respectively, so as to convert a single media feed path between image capture windows 40 and 90 for dual sided image capture to a pair of separate media feed paths: a first feed path extending between divider 28 and image capture window 40 and a second feed path extending between divider 28 and image capture window 90. Divider 28 includes interconnect 110, media drive member 112, media drive member 114 and media drive member 116, media input tray 118, media drive member 120, media drive member 122, media drive member 124 and a media output tray 125. Interconnect 110 comprises one or more structures configured to releasably interconnect with interconnect 60 of support 24. In one embodiment, interconnect 110 includes one or more hooks while interconnect 60 includes one or more corresponding slots or other cavities configured to receive such hooks. In one embodiment, such hooks or tabs are resiliently flexible so as to snap into place. In other embodiments, other interconnecting structures may be used to releasably connect interconnect 110 to interconnect 60 so as to support divider 28 above image capture window 40 with support 24.

[0039] Media drive member 112 comprises a structure configured to be operably driven by a torque source, such as torque source 38, so as to assist in moving a sheet of media from media input tray 30 to media drive member 114. In one embodiment, media drive member 112 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 32 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. In one embodiment, media drive member 112 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 126 and drive train 72. Drive train 126 comprises a series of gears, chain sprockets are belt and pulley arrangements configured to transmit torque from interconnect 110. In one embodiment, drive train 126 terminates at a gear which meshes with the corresponding gear of drive train 72 when divider 28 is connected to support 24. [0040] Media drive member 114 comprises a member or members configured to engage a sheet of media and to move the sheet of media from media drive member 112 to a position opposite to image capture window 40 for capturing of an image. In one embodiment, media drive member 114 comprises one or more media gripping belts extending about one or more shafts, wherein one of the shafts is operably coupled to a torque source for driving the belts. In one embodiment, media drive member 114 is operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 128 and drive train 70. Drive train 128 comprises a series of gears, chains and sprockets are belt and pulley arrangements configured to transmit torque to media drive member 114. In one embodiment, drive train 128 terminates at a gear which intermeshes with a corresponding terminal gear of drive train 70 when divider 28 is connected via interconnect 60. [0041] Media drive member 116 is similar to media drive member 112 except that media drive member 116 assists in moving a sheet of media from media drive member 1 14 to output tray 46. In one embodiment, media drive member 116 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 36 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. In one embodiment, media drive member 116 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 126 and drive train 72. [0042] Media input tray 118 comprises one or more structures configured to support and/or store sheets of media containing images printed or otherwise formed on a face of such sheets. Media input tray 118 extends from divider 28. In one embodiment, media input tray 118 is releasably connected to a remainder of divider 28. In another embodiment, the input tray 118 may be fixed to a remainder of divider 28. Tray 118 may have various configurations or may be omitted.

[0043] Media drive member 120 comprises a structure configured to be operably driven by a torque source, such as torque source 38, so as to assist in moving a sheet of media from media input tray 118 to media drive member 122. In one embodiment, media drive member 120 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 82 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. In one embodiment, media drive member 120 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 130 and drive train 66. Drive train 130 comprises a series of gears, chain sprockets are belt and pulley arrangements configured to transmit torque from interconnect 110. In one embodiment, drive train 130 terminates at a gear which meshes with the corresponding gear of drive train 66 when divider 28 is connected to support 24. [0044] Media drive member 122 comprises a member or members configured to engage a sheet of media and to move the sheet of media from media drive member 120 to a position opposite to image capture window 90 for capturing of an image. In one embodiment, media drive member 122 comprises one or more media gripping belts extending about one or more shafts, wherein one of the shafts is operably coupled to a torque source for driving the belts. In one embodiment, media drive member 122 is operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 132 and drive train 68. Drive train 132 comprises a series of gears, chains and sprockets are belt and pulley arrangements configured to transmit torque to media drive member 122. In one embodiment, drive train 132 terminates at a gear (not shown) which intermeshes with a corresponding terminal gear (not shown) of drive train 68 when divider 28 is connected via interconnect 60.

[0045] Media drive member 124 is similar to media drive member 120 except that media drive member 124 assists in moving a sheet of media from media drive member 122 to output tray 125. In one embodiment, media drive member 124 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 86 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. In one embodiment, media drive member 124 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 130 and drive train 66.

[0046] Overall, media drive members 112, 114, 116, 120, 122 and 124 of divider 28 facilitate movement and positioning of sheets of media relative to image capture windows 40 and 90. In other embodiments, divider 28 may be provided with greater or fewer of such media drive members. For example, one or more of such media drive members may be omitted. In some embodiments, divider 28 may omit all media drive members.

[0047] Although divider 28 is illustrated as being physically plugged into or connected to support 24, wherein power, communication signals and torque are transmitted to divider 28 via interconnect 60, in other embodiments, one or more of such connections may be omitted. For example, in one embodiment, divider 28 may alternatively include its own torque source, permitting interconnection with drive trains 66-72 to be omitted. In lieu of receiving communication or control signals from controller 44 via interconnect 60, in another embodiment, such control signals may be transmitted wirelessly or may be transmitted through flexible lines or cables independent of interconnect 60. In yet other embodiments, divider 28 may alternatively be rested upon image capture unit 22, wherein divider 28 has its own torque source and wherein control signals for media drive members are transmitted through other electrical or optical connections. In those embodiments where divider 28 omits media drive members, such electrical or optical connections may additionally be omitted.

[0048] Figures 1-6 schematically illustrate various positions at which upper image capture unit 26 may be retained relative to lower image capture unit 22 during different image capture modes. Figure 3 illustrates image capture system 20 and a multi-sided or duplex image capturing mode, wherein images upon both faces of a sheet of media are concurrently captured through image capture windows 40 and 90 by image capture components 42 and 92, respectively. In a multi-sided image capturing mode, upper image capture unit 26 is in a multi-sided image capture position in which image capture window 90 is positioned into close proximity with image capture window 40 and with divider 28 withdrawn. As a result, image capture components 42 and 92 are in sufficiently close proximity to the opposite faces of the sheet of media therebetween so as to capture images therefrom.

[0049] Figures 1-2 and 4-6 illustrate insertion of divider 28 to convert image capture system 20 to a mode in which images upon two faces of two individual sheets are captured. Figures 1 and 2 illustrate upper image capture unit 26 moved and retained in a divider insertion or loading position, wherein image capture window 90 is substantially spaced from image capture window 40 to facilitate insertion of divider 28 into connection with interconnect 60 without substantial interference from unit 26. Figures 4 and 5 illustrate image capture system 20 after divider 28 has been connected to support 24 and interconnect 110 has been connected to interconnect 60. Figure 6 illustrates image capture system 20 after image capture unit 26 has been lowered such that image capture window 90 is in closer proximity to divider 28 (and image capture window 40) to facilitate capture of images upon a sheet resting upon divider 28.

[0050] As shown by Figure 6, in this position, image capture system 20 includes a first media feed path 150 adjacent to image capture window 40 and between image capture window 40 and divider 28. Image capture system 20 further includes a second media feed path 152 adjacent to image capture window 90 and between image capture window 90 and divider 28. Images upon two separate sheets of media may be concurrently moved along media feed paths 150 and 152, wherein images may be captured upon faces of such sheets of media that face away from one another in opposite directions. Image capture system 20 may be converted between the dual sided capture mode (shown in Figure 3) and the single side, multi-sheet capture mode (shown in Figure 6) by simple insertion or removal of divider 28.

[0051] Figure 7 illustrates pivoting of upper portion 96 of image capture unit 26. In the particular example illustrated, pivotal movement of portion 96 is limited by pivot stop 102, enabling portion 96 to be retained in the open position shown under the force of gravity, freeing a user's hands for either inserting or removing divider 28 or for loading documents. As shown by Figure 7, pivoting of portion 96 to the open position shown facilitates better access to divider 28 for withdrawal of divider 28 or to interconnect 60 for connection of divider 28. In addition, pivotal movement of portion 96 enables image capture system 20 to be used more like flatbed scanners where the lid is lifted and the sheet is positioned from overhead for scanning. In the example shown, a person may lower a sheet onto divider 28 with the face of the sheet containing the image to be captured facing upward. In addition, bound documents may also be lowered onto divider 28 for image capture. Thereafter, portion 96 may be pivoted downward. In particular embodiments, unit 26 may further be lowered from the position shown in Figure 5 to the position shown in Figure 6 to be readied for image capture. Where divider 28 is withdrawn, a sheet may be directly placed face down upon image capture window 40.

[0052] Figure 8 illustrates one example of a retaining arrangement by which unit 26 may be retained at one or more positions relative to unit 22. Figure 8 illustrates retainer interfaces 162 and 200, example embodiments of interfaces 62 and 100 of image capture system 20, respectively. As shown by Figure 8, interface 162 comprises a series or rack of detents, such as teeth 164. In other embodiments, interface 162 may comprise a series of other detents, such as notches, slits, openings and the like.

[0053] Interconnect 200 includes a lever 166 pivotally connected to portion 94 about pivot axis 168. Lever 166 includes a pin or point 169 on a first side of axis 168 and depressment surface 170 on a second opposite side of pivot axis 168. Point 169 projects through opening 172 in portion 94 into engagement with teeth 164. Interconnect 200 includes a spring or other resilient structure 174 resiliently biasing point 169 towards teeth 164 such that unit 26 is retained relative to unit 22. To release unit 26 and to move unit 26, depressment surface 170 is depressed against the bias of resilient structure 174 to withdraw point 169 from teeth 164. In other embodiments, interfaces 62 and 100 (shown in Figure 2) may have other configurations. For example, in another embodiment, interface 62 may wrap about portion 94 so as to interact with portion 94 on the right side of portion 94 (as seen in Figure 2), stabilizing unit 26 in those embodiments in which portion 96 is cantilevered above image capture window 40.

[0054] Figures 9 and 10 schematically illustrate divider 228, one embodiment of divider 28 (shown in Figures 1 and 2). Figure 10 is a sectional view of divider 228. Figure 9 is a perspective view of divider 228 omitting input tray 118 and output tray 125. Like divider 28, divider 228 is configured to be movable from a first inserted position in which divider 228 forms two substantially parallel media feed paths adjacent to image capture windows 40 and 90 and a second withdrawn position resulting in a single media feed path adjacent both image capture windows 40 and 90. Divider 228 includes interconnect 110, input tray 118, output tray 125 (all of which are shown and described with respect to divider 28), media drive members 312, 314, 316, 320, 322, 324 and drive trains 126, 128, 130 and 132 (shown and described with respect to divider 28 in Figure 2). Media Drive member 312 comprises a roller operably driven by a torque source, such as torque source 38 (shown in Figure 2), so as to assist in moving a sheet of media from media input tray 118 to media drive member 314. In one embodiment, media drive member 312 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 32 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. In one embodiment, media drive member 312 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 126 and drive train 72 (shown in Figure 2).

[0055] Media drive member 314 comprises a belt 330 supported by a pair of rollers or shafts 332 and configured to engage a sheet of media and to move the sheet of media from media drive member 312 to a position opposite to image capture window 40 for capturing of an image. Media drive member 314 is operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 132 and drive train 68 (shown in Figure 2).

[0056] Media drive member 316 is similar to media drive member 312 except that media drive member 316 assists in moving a sheet of media from media drive member 314 to output tray 46. In one embodiment, media drive member 316 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 36 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. Media drive member 316 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 126 and drive train 72 (shown in Figure 2).. [0057] Media drive member 320 comprises a structure configured to be operably driven by a torque source, such as torque source 38, so as to assist in moving a sheet of media from media input tray 118 to media drive member 322. In one embodiment, media drive member 320 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 82 so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. Media drive member 320 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 130 and drive train 66 (shown in Figure 2).

[0058] Media drive member 322 comprises belt 340 supported by a pair of rollers or shafts 342 and configured to engage a sheet of media and to move the sheet of media from media drive member 320 to a position opposite to image capture window 90 for capturing of an image. Media drive member 322 is operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 132 and drive train 68 (shown in Figure 2

[0059] Media drive member 324 is similar to media drive member 320 except that media drive member 324 assists in moving a sheet of media from media drive member 322 to output tray 125. In one embodiment, media drive member 324 extends substantially opposite to media drive member 86 (shown in Figure 2) so as to form a nip therebetween for engaging a sheet of media. Media drive member 324 comprises one or more rollers operably coupled to torque source 38 by drive train 130 and drive train 66 (shown in Figure 2).

[0060] Overall, media drive members 312, 314, 316, 320, 322 and 324 of divider 228 facilitate movement and positioning of sheets of media relative to image capture windows 40 and 90. In other embodiments, divider 228 may be provided with greater or fewer of such media drive members. For example, one or more of such media drive members may be omitted. In some embodiments, divider 228 may omit all media drive members.

[0061] Figure 11 illustrates image capture system 420, another embodiment of image capture system 20. Image capture system 420 is similar to image capture system 20 except that image capture system 420 includes support 424 and upper image capture unit 426 in lieu of support 24 and unit 26, respectively. Support 424 is similar to support 24 except that support 424 omits interface 62 (shown in Figure 2) and additionally includes interconnect 462. In addition, interconnect 60 is specifically configured to releasably connect with upper image capture unit 426 while establishing signal transmitting connection between controller 44 and unit 426. The remaining elements of image capture system 420 which correspond to similar elements of image capture system 20 are numbered similarly. For ease of illustration, drive trains 66-72 are not illustrated in full. [0062] Interconnect 462 comprises an interface configured to facilitate releasable interconnection between unit 426 and support 424. In one embodiment, interconnect 462 comprises a cavity configured to matingly receive a corresponding interconnect portion of unit 426 such that unit 426 is supported at an appropriate spacing relative to divider 28 (shown in Figure 2), when divider 28 is connected to interconnect 60, such that images upon faces of sheets on opposite sides of divider 28 may be captured through image capture windows 40 and 90 of capture units 22 and 426, respectively. As shown by Figure 11, interconnect 462 includes terminal ends of the signal communicating lines 466 and 468 which transmit control signals from controller 44 to unit 426 when image capture unit 26 is connected at interconnect 462.

[0063] Upper image capture unit 426 is similar to image capture unit 26 except that upper image capture unit 426 includes interconnect 470. Interconnect 470 is configured to releasably and matingly connect with interconnect 60 in place of divider 28 (shown in Figure 2). Interconnect 470 is further configured such that when interconnect 470 is mated or connected to interconnect 60, signal and power transmitting lines 472 and 474 connect with signal and power transmitting lines 476 and 478, respectively. [0064] Like image capture system 20, image capture system 420 may be easily converted from a multi-side image capture mode shown in Figure 11 to a multi-sheet single side capture mode (not shown). In the multi-side image capture mode, unit 426 is releasably connected to interconnect 60 sufficiently close to unit 22 to form a single media feed path 480 adjacent to both image capture windows 40 and 90 such that images upon both sides are faces of the sheet of media may be concurrently captured. To convert system 20 to the multi-sheet single side capture mode, unit 426 is disconnected from interconnect 60 and divider 28 (shown in Figure 2) is connected to interconnect 60 as described above. Thereafter, image capture unit 426 is connected to interconnect 462 to form a pair of substantially parallel media feed paths for concurrently capturing images from faces of two separate sheets of media for faster throughput of single-sided media.

[0065] Figure 12 schematically illustrates image capture system 520, another embodiment of image capture system 20. Image capture system 520 is similar to image capture system 420 except that image capture system 520 includes divider and two-sided image capture unit 528 in lieu of divider 28 (shown in Figure 2). Two-sided image capture unit 528 includes media drive members 530, image capture window 540, image capture component 542, media drive members 582, image capture window 590, image capture component 592 and interconnect 594. Media drive members 530 comprise rollers or other structures operably coupled to torque source 38 so as to be driven by torque source 38 and so as to drive a sheet of media between image capture windows 40 and 540. In one embodiment, media drive members 530 form a nip with media drive members 36 to engage opposite sides of a sheet to transfer the sheet. Media drive members 530 receive torque via one or more drive trains extending from torque source 38, to media drive members 530 through interconnect 594.

[0066] Image capture window 540 comprises a clear or transparent window configured to overlie a sheet of media while permitting images upon a face of a sheet of media that face window 540 to be captured by image capture component 542. In operation, images upon the sheet of media are captured through image capture window 540. Image capture window 540 generally lies between media drive members 530 and faces down towards capture unit 22.

[0067] Image capture component 542 comprises a component or element configured to capture or sense images (text, graphics and the like), upon a face of a sheet of media through image capture window 540. In one embodiment, image capture component 542 comprises a scanning element which is moved across or along image capture window 540. In one embodiment, image capture component 542 emits light towards image capture window 540 and senses light reflected from the face of the sheet of media through image capture window 540, wherein electrical signals representing the images upon the sheet of media are generated in response to the sense reflected light to form a digital record or file of the sensed images. In yet another embodiment, image capture component 542 may comprise a camera or other optical sensing device which captures a part of or in entirety of images upon the sheet of media.

[0068] Media drive members 582 comprise rollers or other structures operably coupled to torque source 38 so as to be driven by torque source 38 and so as to drive a sheet of media between image capture windows 90 and 590. In one embodiment, media drive members 582 form a nip with media drive members 86 to engage opposite sides of a sheet to transfer the sheet. Media drive members 582 receive torque via one or more drive trains extending from torque source 38, to media drive members 582 through interconnect 594.

[0069] Image capture window 590 comprises a clear or transparent window configured to support a sheet of media while permitting images upon a face of a sheet of media that face window 590 to be captured by image capture component 592. In operation, images upon the sheet of media are captured through image capture window 590. Image capture window 590 generally lies between media drive members 582 and faces upward towards capture unit 26. [0070] Image capture component 592 comprises a component or element configured to capture or sense images (text, graphics, photographs, drawings and the like), upon a face of a sheet of media through image capture window 590. In one embodiment, image capture component 592 comprises a scanning element which is moved across or along image capture window 590. In one embodiment, image capture component 592 emits light towards image capture window 590 and senses light reflected from the face of the sheet of media through image capture window 590, wherein electrical signals representing the images upon the sheet of media are generated in response to the sense reflected light to form a digital record or file of the sensed images. In yet another embodiment, image capture component 592 may comprise a camera or other optical sensing device which captures a part of or an entirety of images upon the sheet of media. [0071] Overall, image capture system 528 utilizing divider 28 (shown in Figure 2) provides a media path in which single sides of two sheets of media may be concurrently scanned or otherwise have images captured. Alternatively, divider 28 may be removed and the module or unit 426 may be connected at interconnect 60 to provide a single media path in which both sides of a sheet of media are concurrently scanned or otherwise have images captured. Image capture system 520 provides an additional option wherein unit 528 may alternatively be connected at interconnect 60 between unit 426 and unit 22. In this mode, image capture system 520 provides a pair of substantially parallel media feed paths 596 and 598. Media feed path 596 extends between image capture windows 40 and 540 while media feed path 598 extends between image capture windows 90 and 590. As a result, image capture system 520 facilitates the concurrent capture of images from opposite sides of each of a pair of sheets for even faster throughput or archiving. [0072] Although the present disclosure has been described with reference to example embodiments, workers skilled in the art will recognize that changes may be made in form and detail without departing from the spirit and scope of the claimed subject matter. For example, although different example embodiments may have been described as including one or more features providing one or more benefits, it is contemplated that the described features may be interchanged with one another or alternatively be combined with one another in the described example embodiments or in other alternative embodiments. Because the technology of the present disclosure is relatively complex, not all changes in the technology are foreseeable. The present disclosure described with reference to the example embodiments and set forth in the following claims is manifestly intended to be as broad as possible. For example, unless specifically otherwise noted, the claims reciting a single particular element also encompass a plurality of such particular elements.

Claims

WHAT IS CLAIMED IS:
1. An apparatus comprising: a first image capture window (40, 90) through which a first image may be captured; a second image capture window (40, 90) through which a second image may be captured, the second image capture window (40, 90) facing the first image capture window (40, 90); and a divider (28, 228, 528) movable between a first position in which the divider (28, 228, 528) extends between the first image capture window (40, 90) and the second image capture window (40, 90) to form a first media feed path adjacent the first image capture window (40, 90) and a second media feed path adjacent to second image capture window (40, 90) and a second position withdrawn from between the first image capture window (40, 90) and the second image capture window (40, 90) forming a third media feed path adjacent both the first image capture window (40, 90) and the second image capture window (40, 90).
2. The apparatus of claim 1, wherein the divider (28, 228, 528) includes a media drive member (112, 116, 120, 124, 312, 316, 320, 324, 530, 582) configured to move a medium along the media feed path.
3. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-2, wherein the divider (28, 228, 528) includes a third image capture window(540,590) facing the first image capture window and a fourth image capture window (540, 590) facing the second image capture window (40, 90).
4. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-3, wherein the divider (28, 228, 528) includes a media input tray (118).
5. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-4 wherein the divider (28, 228, 528) further comprises: a first media drive member (112, 116, 120, 124, 312, 316, 320, 324, 530, 582) configured to move a medium along the first media feed path; and a second media drive member (112, 116, 120, 124, 312, 316, 320, 324, 530, 582) operable independent of the first media drive member (112, 116, 120, 124, 312, 316, 320, 324, 530, 582) and configured to move the medium along the first media path.
6. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-5, wherein the first image capture window (40, 90) is pivotable relative to the second image capture window (40, 90).
7. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-6, wherein the first image capture window (40, 90) is movable between a plurality of supported positions in which the first image capture window (40, 90) extends substantially parallel to the second image capture window (40, 90) at a plurality of different spacings with respect to a second image capture window (40, 90).
8. The apparatus of claim 7, wherein the first image capture window (40, 90) is pivotable relative to the second image capture window (40, 90)
9. The apparatus of any one of claims 1-8, wherein the second image capture window (40, 90) and the divider (28, 228, 528) are configured to be interchangeably connected to a same interconnector.
10. A method comprising: capturing a first image on a first face of a first medium through a first image capture window (40, 90) while capturing a second image on a second face of the first medium through a second image capture window (40, 90); inserting a divider (28, 228, 528) between the first image capture window (40, 90) and the second image capture window (40, 90); and capturing a third image on a face of a second medium facing in a first direction through the first image capture window (40, 90); capturing a fourth image on a face of a third medium facing in a second opposite direction through the second image capture window (40, 90).
PCT/US2007/082091 2006-10-27 2007-10-22 Image capture unit with removable divider for defining one or two original feed paths for single or double sided mage capture WO2008057746A3 (en)

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Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4438459A (en) * 1976-08-27 1984-03-20 Levine Alfred B Multiplex photocopier system with portable scanner
US5956160A (en) * 1995-04-25 1999-09-21 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Image forming system including a printer and scanner having separate housings
US6069715A (en) * 1997-10-14 2000-05-30 Microtek International Inc. Image scanning device

Patent Citations (3)

* Cited by examiner, † Cited by third party
Publication number Priority date Publication date Assignee Title
US4438459A (en) * 1976-08-27 1984-03-20 Levine Alfred B Multiplex photocopier system with portable scanner
US5956160A (en) * 1995-04-25 1999-09-21 Ricoh Company, Ltd. Image forming system including a printer and scanner having separate housings
US6069715A (en) * 1997-10-14 2000-05-30 Microtek International Inc. Image scanning device

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