My experiments using an Arduino - a small,
easily programmable computer - began when I found a
tutorial on how to build a barcode scanner with an Arduino.
The resulting book lending system is described below.
Future plans include a visitor detection device and a control device for our group's tabletop soccer.
We have several books at our institute that my colleages and I can lend whenever we want. But we didn't have a lending system and thus often somebody was looking for a particular book in the shelf and couldn't find it. Thus, we decided to build a small Arduino-based system for scanning and storing the book's barcode whenever someone is lending a book.
Many thanks to Daniel for writing the Android and iPhone apps and for implementing and refactoring the source code to support arbitrary EANs (including lookup!) and to Jürgen for designing the web application.
The barcode scanner is connected with the Arduino and the Arduino with the Ethernet (as is the computer ;-).
barcode -e "code39" -i names.txt -u "mm" -p "110x297" -t "2x10+5+5" -m "5,5" -c | ps2pdf -sOutputFile=names.pdf -
The user scans first his or her personal barcode and then the barcode of the book. The Arduino then sends a request containing the user name and barcode to the server. The server retrieves information about the book from its database, or, if the book is new, from WorldCat or our libraries OPAC using the corresponding scraper from BibSonomy. The book's metadata and the lending user and current date is then stored in a database. Success and error is then signaled using audio files played on the computer (which stands nearby the book shelf).
Who lend which book can then be seen in a web application: