Feasibility - Think Hotel MiniBar

Hi Everyone,

I’m late to the party and just found your community today. I love it.

Looking to see if this will work or not:

I have some retail shelf pushers similar to the ones I attached. I want a log including a time stamp and location of the pusher every time it slides forwards or backwards.

I’ve seen some examples online of “smart shelves” designed for the retail giants of the world with all the bells and whistles. It’s too much. All I need is the ability to sense movement and a time stamp on when it happened.

There are proximity sensors, accelerometers, RFID tags, and most likely more ways to measure this. I could even have each pusher on a lanyard attached to something.

I want to build this, I just don’t know where to begin.

Thank You

51Gi6Cq56kL.jpg

Image from Original Post so we don't have to download it. See this Simple Image Guide

51Gi6Cq56kL.jpg

...R

What causes the pusher to move?

...R

Hello benjbuckley,
Welcome to the forum.

I want to build this, I just don't know where to begin.

I suggest you begin by buying an Arduino and working through the various examples that come with the IDE and elsewhere. When you are comfortable you understand the examples then buy some of the items you mentioned and learn how to connect to them and program them. Probably help if you include an LCD in your list of things to learn about.

This is a hobby about trying things out, sometimes getting good results, sometimes getting frustrated. You have to dive in and try stuff.

Have fun.

Robin2:
What causes the pusher to move?

...R

The pusher is like a wound up clock spring. Sort of like a measuring tape. When you pull it out, it will coil back in when released. Thank you for the instructions on attaching photos. Way easier for everyone

feasible, yes, easy, kinda. I have built something similar where I monitor my garage doors and if open or closed posts the status to local web page. Not too far from your goals

Here’s what I recommend you do.

  1. get an Arduino (NANO is fine) and a ultrasonic sensor (cheap HC-SR04) and use the examples to measure a distance.

  2. depending on how you want to post the results, get an LCD and use examples to display results. My fav is https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B073R7BH1B/ref=ppx_yo_dt_b_search_asin_title?ie=UTF8&psc=1

  3. them hook step 1 and 2 so each sensor reading is displayed on the LCD

  4. if your goals are to wirelessly send data or post data to a web page, more stuff to learn not too bad. I’ would not start with these though.

benjbuckley:
I have some retail shelf pushers similar to the ones I attached. I want a log including a time stamp and location of the pusher every time it slides forwards or backwards.

You need to give us some idea of the sorts of things that you could, and could not (equally important) attach to each shelf-pusher.

Those decisions will depend upon available space, the risk of a device getting damaged, the risk of a device causing damage, the shape, size and material of the products being pushed. your own construction skills etc etc. Can you post some pictures of a pusher with actual products in it so we can see it from different angles?

The size of your budget - both for money and time - will also be critical. At what point does the cost outweigh the expected benefit.

From what you have said so far I can't discern any particular benefit compared to simply viewing the sales cabinet regularly.

...R