Library Self Service Checkout System

Project Description

The self service checkout system (SelfCheck) is a device designed to give library patrons the ability to check our books, cd’s, videos, magazines and other library media and simultaneously turn off attached security devices prior to leaving the library. Among the many features of the SelfCheck system is the ability to detect multiple books/items on the units cradle. The feature utilizes a laser and a small video camera to map the points of the book or item edge and determine from certain patterns in the resultant graph whether the patron is attempting to check out multiple items simultaneously (which is not allowed). A warning is then sent to the unit’s LCD screen.

A magnetic card reader was added to the unit to provide patron ID cards. This required the development of the interface software for the magnetic card reader and the application level state machine for reading and evaluating patron ID information from magnetic swipe cards. The patron ID read from the card is then sent over a serial or Ethernet link to the library’s patron database system to validate the patron’s access rights to the SelfCheck system. A requirement for static IP addressing was implemented for communicating with the SelfCheck unit when the connection to the library’s Automated Circulation System (ACS) in over a LAN. Some libraries do not have a physical connection between the Circulation System Database and the SelfCheck system, so an internal floppy drive was added along with the software applications necessary for manually transferring configuration, statistics, executable, image and other data to/from the resident floppy drive.

Skills Required

  • Proficiency in “C”
  • Experience with pSOS operating system
  • Documentation processing
  • Software Development Methodology
  • Experience in embedded/real–time application development and communication

Services Used

  • C
  • DOS
  • pSOS version 1.2
  • Visual C++
  • XDB emulator
  • Visual SourceSafe source control system

Project Size

10 Man Months


Primarily Libraries