You can do this fairly easily with a MLScript. Import the attached script into MLScript. You'll see a new script called ImageChecker. This script will look in the folder of your choice for the existance of a file. If it finds a file in the folder it will set a server variable pointing to the image and then fire a MLServer command.
You would set up a timer that would fire at some schedule that would call this script.
This should give you something to experiment with.
No you won't see to much overhead running every 5 seconds. If you turn on event logging it will cause a lot of noise in the event log. But if logging is off and there is no image to process the script doesn't do any work. Just monitor your CPU every now and then. But I believe you'll be good.
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