Saturday, September 26, 2015

Another possible gadget to make some money.

A friend makes a few dollars by buying large quantities of stamped envelopes, soaking the stamps off and selling the used stamps to stamp collectors for various prices depending on the quality of the stamps.

However, before selling the used stamps, he culls through the batch, looking for uncancelled stamps which can be used as mint originals. He is able to sell bundles of these uncancelled stamps for half their face value to small businesses wishing to save money on their mailing costs. Small businesses, small batches, small numbers all round.

So we need a (one-off!) device to do the following:

  1. Scan the stamp
  2. Identify which stamp it is by comparison with a catalog of current issues
  3. Compare how close the image is to a mint image
  4. Put the stamp in some sort of "uncancelled" bin, ready for re-use.
Equipment needed:

  1. Raspberry Pi 2 (or BeagleBoneGreen) with camera module
  2. A pick and place arm with vacuum head to
    1. lift a stamp from an unordered pile
    2. rotate the stamp to a normalised position
    3. hold stamp in front of camera
    4. place stamp in "used" or "unused" bin depending on id
Robot arm is available as a kit already although it might be interesting to make my own with my new laser cutter. All the rest is software.

1 comment:

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