A student-invented robot will help preserve and archive 115 years of photographic black history in Baltimore, and could soon be made available to museums and archives around the country. He devised Gado (a West African word for inheritance), a $500 3-foot-wide by 2-foot-deep robotic arm that is able to lift flat and delicate materials using suction, place them on a scanner and scan them into a database or computer file system. It scans one image every two minutes.
Thomas Smith, creator of the robot named Gado, spent a good portion of his senior year at Johns Hopkins tinkering on the machine, an open source robotic scanner designed for sensitive archival materials.
Smith, who graduated last May with a degree in cognitive science and anthropology, conceived the $500 device following a visit to Baltimore’s Afro-American newspaper in spring 2010. He hoped to add visual elements to an oral history project he was working on with the Johns Hopkins Center for Africana Studies’ Diaspora Pathways Project.
You can read a lot more about Smith and his project in the John Hopkins Gazette at http://goo.gl/F9hF1
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