I'm trying to use a linear actuator (sample electric cylinder) for a soil penetration device. Originally, I thought of using a pressure sensor to know when/if I hit a rock. However, I am not seeing many linear actuators with integrated pressure sensors but they do come with potentiometers. So I am thinking, would it be possible to use the potentiometer as a rough way to know if I hit something?
Basically, my program would check if its position does not change for a small time interval. If the position has not changed before it extends the maximum length, then the actuator must have hit something it cannot penetrate well.
Anyone have any ideas?