Wifi camera - Capture picture at a specific time of day & upload to Google Drive

Hi all,

I work in a powerplant, and there's a power meter that's unable to be connected on the network. I need to monitor/analyze the data displayed on the power meter screen at 7:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 9:00 PM for about a week.

I think a camera to take pictures of the power meter display will be simple enough to gather sufficient data that will be analyzed afterward. All images are to be uploaded to a Google Drive account.
The device will have access to WiFi and preferably be battery-powered, but a local power source is also available. No PoE required. The images captured will be analyzed individually to extract the data displayed on the Power Meter. I will regularly login to the Google Drive account to verify if the capturing process is performing accordingly.

I'm at the stage of ordering the parts for the build. Can anyone provide some guidelines, e.g., parts, suggested codes, etc.?

My tinkering skills are somewhat outdated, but I'm able to get going if someone can provide some guidelines and ideas.

Thank in advance for any help, really appreciate it.

Kind regards,

Jairo

The ESP32-CAM is very cheap and very effective and can be programmed with the Arduino IDE

...R

Hi Robin2,

Thanks for the prompt response. The ESP32-CAM seems to have what it takes to do the job.
Would you be able to provide some guidelines on the coding for the time of day image capture, Wifi access, and uploading to a Google Drive account?

Thanks in advance for any help.

sparkyengineer:
Thanks for the prompt response. The ESP32-CAM seems to have what it takes to do the job.
Would you be able to provide some guidelines on the coding for the time of day image capture, Wifi access, and uploading to a Google Drive account?

No. Sorry, I have very little experience with it. I found lots of online advice and tutorials (including YouTube) when I created my ESP32-CAM project - but it was last year and I have probably forgotten it all.

The business of WiFi access and uploading to Google Drive is standard web project stuff and I'm sure there are hundreds of online tutorials. They may not be specifically about the ESP32-CAM or the Arduino IDE but the principles will still be relevant. IMHO it would be actually easier to learn how to upload an image to Google Drive with a PC program.

...R

The Raspberry Pi camera (8MP) and an RPi Zero W would be another way to go. The Zero W could also do the image processing with OpenCV software. For backup, the images could be stored on the on-board microSD card.

For size reference, the camera module is about 1" square.

The kit shown is about $45 at Adafruit.

sparkyengineer:
I work in a powerplant, and there's a power meter that's unable to be connected on the network. I need to monitor/analyze the data displayed on the power meter screen at 7:00 AM, 3:00 PM, and 9:00 PM for about a week.

Why is the power meter not able to connect to the network ?

If remote monitoring of this power screen is important, what is the reason the mangement of the 'powerplant' will not provide it ?

srnet:
Why is the power meter not able to connect to the network ?

If remote monitoring of this power screen is important, what is the reason the mangement of the ‘powerplant’ will not provide it ?

Hi, it is not that management of the power plant not wanting to provide a network connection for the meter. The monitoring is only for a week or so, just to gather the minimum and maximum power consumption.
To integrate the power meter into the network, additional modules, cables, and reprogramming are required which may take some time not to mention the costs involved.

I like DaveEvans Pi solution. Depending on the need, you could skip the google drive bit altogether and just save the data on the SD card. There should be plenty of room for 21 images or indeed rather more if you wanted to.

Hi,

I have created myself a security camera with an esp32cam module which monitors the image for any motion and if detected it emails me a picture.
I thought it may be of interest as it already gets the current time from an ntp server so you could just quickly rewrite the loop section of the sketch to just e-mail you a picture at set times every day (if this would suit your needs?)
Or you could even just add this and have it as a security camera as well :wink: