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  1. #1
    Newbie level 1
    Points: 16, Level: 1

    Join Date
    Jan 2018
    0 / 0

    How to detect the contents of a plastic cube


    Two things right off the bat:

    1) I'm a software guy
    2) This is just for fun

    I have a 2"x2"x2" plastic cube. The cube is hollow. The cube's walls are ~1mm thick.

    The cube might be: empty, contain a liquid, or contain a powder (those are the only possible contents)

    I'd like to build something myself (Arduino/Rasberry Pi) that I can use to determine the cube's contents in an automated fashion without weighing.

    I've read the first few chapters of a book entitled, "Ultrasonic Measurements for Process Control" with a focus on chapter 6: "Density Applications".

    That pretty much sums up my knowledge on the subject. But it does appear to me that I could use some type of ultrasonic transducer to either measure the reflection of the cube or measure the waves that pass through the cube to make a good guestimate of what lies inside (acknowledging that distance, temperature, humidity, etc. would have to be taken into account).

    Assuming I'm not already 100% off the rails does this sound like something a non-hardware person could try for fun?

    Thank you in advance

  2. #2
    Advanced Member level 4
    Points: 7,282, Level: 20

    Join Date
    Jun 2015
    300 / 300

    Re: How to detect the contents of a plastic cube


    I'm sure you will be able to implement the design in hardware with - where necessary - a little reading up on how any components you do not feel you fully understand. In my experience circuits are, to invent a number, 90% reading and 10% doing. As you've had the patience to learn and write functional code, then I'm sure you'll be okay. Do you know Doctor Who? - I ask because circuits seem to me to be like the Tardis: looks small on the outside but once inside you can get happily lost on all manner of required paths to get to where you're going. :)

    You have the benefit of not having to wrack your brains about analog solutions so much as you can probably deal with certain aspects that would otherwise become cumbersome to implement with code.

    If you make one and it works well, please send me one so I can detect when a cat's stomach is full or they are just being greedy!

    I wish you luck with the project.

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