Counting egg cartons in refrigerator

Hi-

I sell fresh eggs from a small refrigerator and would like to be able to make a circuit that can count how many dozens of eggs are in the refrigerator and am looking for ideas.

The included image is an approximation of how the egg cartons look inside the fridge. Ideally, cartons will stay in that orientation and for simplicity of the design that can be assumed, but if anyone has ideas of an approach that would handle random configurations as well that would be welcome also.

Some thoughts I’ve had so far are,

  • sonic range sensors mounted on top to measure distance to top of each column
  • infrared image processing (where IR-reflective markers are placed on the inside of the refrigerator.
  • weighing the refrigerator.

Any input much appreciated.

jomifo

NFRC?

Thanks for the thought, but I imagine NFC labels on each carton would be cost prohibitive?

jomifo: The included image is an approximation of how the egg cartons look inside the fridge. Ideally, cartons will stay in that orientation and for simplicity of the design that can be assumed, but if anyone has ideas of an approach that would handle random configurations as well that would be welcome also.

When I saw the image, I thought: 5+5+3=13, that's 13 cartons.

The "technology" I would use would be labels along the sides of the fridge to indicate how many cartons high the stack is. That way, you just read the numbers and add. With practice, you will be able to add the numbers faster in your head than you would with a calculator.

If you want to do this without opening the fridge, then yes, I would suggest weighing the fridge. But I suspect that good scales are very expensive.

other ideas, possible to use ? you decide

top of fridge mounted sonic sensor over each possible carton. detect distance tot top most carton. only scans on the closure of the door.

a beam break sensor located so that each level in each column can be determined.

put a scale under each column of eggs, not the whole fridge.

RFID tags. I think you can date them with serial numbers? that way can know how long they have been in there.

in other words, just what you thought.

try each and see which works best for you.

Image from original Post (so I can see it)
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dave-in-nj: other ideas, possible to use ? you decide

top of fridge mounted sonic sensor over each possible carton. detect distance tot top most carton. only scans on the closure of the door.

a beam break sensor located so that each level in each column can be determined.

put a scale under each column of eggs, not the whole fridge.

If Tim Taylor (from Home Improvement) were an electronics engineer, those are the solutions he'd recommend.

RFID tags. I think you can date them with serial numbers? that way can know how long they have been in there.

Is this really the best way to rotate stock?

odometer: Is this really the best way to rotate stock?

No, manual labour is needed.

In you local supermarket the staff use wifi connected scanners to identify and mark down older stock.

At the same time they will manually move older stock to the front of the display.

Its done by manually scanning each individual product.

RF tagging would work but be very expensive.

Labour intensive.

There are pilot schemes currently where you get a free scanner from the likes of waitrose but they depend on you scanning each individual item as you remove it from the fridge.

On a large scale this works with supermarkets because they have large turnover and go by pallet loads. And staff have individual scanners per item.

On a small scale i only see this working if you use a manual barcode scanner for each carton.

Boardburner2: No manual labour is needed. ... Its done by manually scanning each individual product.

Sounds like a lot of manual labo(u)r.

The next logical step is, of course, to replace the scanner with a smartphone app that would read the dates on the packages and "highlight" the ones with the oldest dates. That way, you could "scan" many items at once. And all that because it is much too hard to find human employees who can read the dates on packages and recognize which ones are old enough to need attention.

odometer: Sounds like a lot of manual labo(u)r.

The next logical step is, of course, to replace the scanner with a smartphone app that would read the dates on the packages and "highlight" the ones with the oldest dates. That way, you could "scan" many items at once. And all that because it is much too hard to find human employees who can read the dates on packages and recognize which ones are old enough to need attention.

I don't bother. I wait until pension day. Pensioners get free eyeglasses.

They easily find the short date stuff and leave a mess .

Lots get marked down with red stickers which i can spot. Have to take a day off at the right time though.

Pensioners are wise to this too though.

But i can still fight them off . :o

Got three chickens for £1 each a couple of weeks back , had to cook all though as freezer was full.

Tip, fresh cooked chicken is nice , week old sandwich , not so good.