Height Notification Camera Question

Hello! New to the Farmbot world! I was wondering is there a way to utilize the camera already on the Farmbot (express) to send a notification to the user when plants are within a certain range of the bot. From what I’ve seen in the documentation I’ve read so far the camera is used to measure soil height. Is there some kind of way to use a sequence to send a notification to the user once the plants are within a certain height of the bot so that the user will know to come trim the plants. Or is only usable for measuring the soil?

Or do you have any external sensor recommendations that could be hooked up to the Arduino and be set up with sequences to take a measurement of the plants after say the watering cycle is completed so that you could be sure that the Farmbot is not in the way of the sensor? and then like send an email to the user? is that something that’s possible either using the built-in camera or an external sensor?

As a FRC (First Robotics Competition) team mentor, I have countless tools and trinkets I have decked my farmbot out in. I had also thought of your idea, and I use a LIDAR, or Light Detection and Ranging device, which is a laser with a return sensor, sort of like those on your garage, that prevents your garage from closing if you or something walks out. Mine works because it’s connected to the Z axis at the toolhead, and points vertically down. Every day, the farmbot will run a pattern that I made in LUA, and it will hover over the plants registered in the Farmbot software, and range the height.

This itself seems complicated, and I’m sure you have no clue what I’m talking about, or what LIDAR is, but a suggestion I have that is hands-off, is to use an Ultrasonic Sensor. It’s a set of eyes that acts like sonar, and measures distance in millimetres. Mount it to the tool head, facing down.

Since you can find Ultrasonic Sensors in Arduino kits, I’m sure it will be easy for you to code something in Lua that will run a pattern to the plants, and then take a reading. Basic math, and subtract the height from the 0 position of the Z gantry, offset from the soil height. Set a certain height, then run a basic command to send you an email.

If you need help, feel free to contact me, either by DM here in the forum, or a response to this message. Good luck!

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Hi Thanks for the ideas! How would I go about mounting the sensor to the toolhead though? wouldn’t the wiring be a bit of mess if it has to move with the farmbot and also be wired into the Arduino?

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