The only meter in our house that I was not yet able to read out automatically was the water meter.
With the help of a great open source project by the name of AI-on-the-edge and an ESP32-Camera Module it is quite simple to regularly take a picture of the meter, convert it into a digital read-out and send it away through MQTT.
The process is quite simple and straightforward.
- Flash the ready made Firmware image to the module
- Configure the WiFi using a SD card
- Put the module directly over the meter
- Connect to it and setup the reference points and the meter recognition marks
As you can see above all the recognition is done on the ESP32 module with its 4MByte of RAM.
With the data sent through MQTT it’s easy to draw nice graphs:
Jiří Praus@jipraus has made a nice LED sphere.
Still working on these…
Still lots of errors and challenges to positioning and casing. It works electrically and in software. Does not yet fit into a case.
It’s supposed to get you these sensors accomodated:
- barometric pressure
- PIR motion
- light intensity
- bluetooth scan/BLE connectivity
- Wifi scan / Wifi connectivity
And a RGB LED as output. All powered by USB and an ESP32.
This project uses the same approach that I took for my ESP32 based indoor location tracking system (by tracking BLE signal strength). But this project came up with an actual user interface – NICE!
I had reported on my efforts to develop an indoor location tracking system previously. Back in 2017 when I started to work on this I only planned to utilize inexpensive EspressIf ESP32 SoCs to look for bluetooth beacons.
In the time between I figured that I could, and should, also utilize the multiple digital and analog input/output pins this specific SoC offers. And what better to utilize it with then a range of sensors that also now could feed their measurements into an MQTT feed along with the bluetooth details.
And there is a whole lot of sensors that I’ve added. On a breadboard it looks like this:
So what do we have here:
- Motion sensor
- Temperature sensor
- Humidity sensor
- Light sensor
- Barometric pressure sensor
- and of course an RGB LED to show a status
The software I’ve done already and after 3 weeks of extensive testing it seems that it’s stable. I will release this eventually later in the process.
I’ve also found plastic cases that fill fit this amount of sensory over the sensor cases I had already bought for the ESP32 alone. For now I’ll close this article with some pictures.
The MQTT feed one of these nodes produces…
…and the Grafana dashboard I am using for this specific prototype device.