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NJ
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Hello Forum

Is Arduino compatible for making a scanner component for mediums such as QR codes and barcodes?

Our company is developing a prototype platform, and we need a scanner to read access cards. We have been using various scanners, but none have been up to the standard we are looking for. Does anyone here have experience with this and an Arduino kit?
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Switzerland
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Is Arduino compatible for making a scanner component for mediums such as QR codes and barcodes?

A standard Arduino is not suited for such tasks, for one reason because of it's very limited memory (UNO has 2kB), for the other reason because of the limited processing power. QR scanners often are done using a cheap camera (or a built-in camera of a smartphone) and the Arduino is not able to process such information fast enough to be reasonable.
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NJ
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Fair enough. Would you have any recommendations for components that would support this? We are playing with the idea of straying from the QR code system, it does not seem to retain longevity. We have looked into a few components that Honeywell offers, but we would prefer to be the sole integrators. Bringing in a third party may not be the most cost effective plan. Any suggestions would help...
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Barcodes are doable, many barcode scanners are either RS232 and can be attached to an arduino with a MAX232 or similar. A few were PS/2 keyboards instead, reading a PS/2 keyboard on arduino is well documented but i would go the serial route.
They simply read the barcode and then a chip in the scanner itself decoded it to a text string and wrote it either to their PS/2 as a series of keypresses or straight over serial (latter more common).


QR not so much. That needs dedicated image analysis. Android smartphone or something like a raspberry pi and either the official camera or a webcam are better suited to that. Arduino might struggle.
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NJ
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Ive heard multiple suggestions about the QR code and its limitations. So far, we are at a crossroads whether to change our QR based system and go with an alternative. The only reason we have continued with the QR code route, is because the hundreds of cards that are handed out are extremely cost effective. Any RDMI or nearfield system is not going to be cost effective. We have a good webcam that works well, but that means each of our machines are going to have to be equipped with the same third party device. We are looking to develop something...just trying to be pointed in the right direction.
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Central MN, USA
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I am not aware of an all-in-one QR code scanner that is cost effective (less than a few hundred USD). You may have to build your own with a raspberry pi and a webcam. If you can make it work with some very popular webcam then you will be good for a few years until that webcam is no longer sold. I use some ps3 eye webcams so if there is a version for ps4 I'd try that.
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NJ
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Excellent...im taking a look at the Raspberry Pi...is there any suggested component for a webcam? Or should we start with a standard Pi?
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Raspberry pi seems to have ported opencv so look for webcams that can be driven by opencv. It's been a while since I last looked at opencv, around 2009. It was popular with multitouch screens that were built with webcams.
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Switzerland
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I think, OpenCV is kind of an overkill for this. Take a look at zxing (Zebra Crossing), this library does exactly what you want and should work with almost every web cam on the market today:

http://code.google.com/p/zxing/
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Cumming, GA
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And I think I'm correct when I say that the official raspberry pi camera add on is now available.
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$25, not bad. I bet the cable will be the hardest thing to deal with.
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