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Detecting fill level in farmers’ bins with machine vision

Client : BinSentry

About BinSentry

BinSentry is an Ontario-based agricultural technology company specializing in advanced Internet of Things (IoT) sensors. They have developed an innovative IoT solution that enables feed mills to effectively track on-farm inventory.

The challenge

BinSentry wanted to offer a sensor that could be connected to farmers’ feed bins to accurately detect fill level.  This would help farmers have the right amount of feed order at the right time and allow mills to produce the right amount of feed and plan delivery routes at the right time. Machine vision is a cutting-edge technology, so the company needed an expert’s point of view and help to get their idea off the ground.

INO’s added value

When BinSentry approached INO, our team demonstrated how a time-of-flight camera module can be used to collect 3D profile measurements relevant to BinSentry’s use case. We also conducted experiments in grain bins in the field with an initial prototype. 

INO’s experts worked with them to choose the right time-of-flight camera supplier to further customize the camera module for their needs and developed the data processing algorithms for converting the camera data to 3D feed depth profiles.

The solution

Now BinSentry offers a technology to help farmers accurately detect the fill level of their feed bins, bringing the company one step ahead of the competition in the area of feed bin sensor technology. 

How it works?

  • The sensors are installed at the top of the bin and are solar powered to provide years of uninterrupted service.
  • Sensor data can be accessed from anywhere via the BinSentry cloud platform.
  • The online tool enables farmers to monitor their feed bins more easily and accurately.

Results

The results are already very impressive, and BinSentry expects to be market ready with their second-generation machine vision sensor soon.

Why did they choose INO? 

BinSentry chose INO, a Canadian company, because of its expertise in the field of machine vision.

INO has been very professional throughout the entire process. There were times when we weren’t sure what we wanted to do, but INO was always patient with us. At one point we changed course quite substantially which changed how INO was involved but INO continued to offer the same high-quality advice and service.

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