Inspiration

Our group set out this hackathon to find a way to tackle the software focused challenges while still using lots of hardware -- we're all electrical and aero engineers. Then the unthinkable happened. One of our cookies disappeared. We liked the sound of a two step entry project and really liked how Twilio could work with anything so we set out to incorporate all of these things into one project. The result is the Cookie Protector.

What it does

The Cookie Protector is a door security system that requires both a personal passcode and a second randomized authorization step code that's sent to the user's phone. Once both your code and the texted code are entered, the door will open, allowing you to enter the Cookie Vault. Notably, the user is not notified whether the first code is correct as to further protect against any brute force attacks.

How we built it

The device consists of a Raspberry Pi that controls everything, a Servo to simulate a door or a locking mechanism, a keypad for user input, and two LED's to show the status of the door. Because we don't have access to an ethernet connection, it uses a smartphone wifi hotspot to access the internet.

Challenges we ran into

Since none of our team are CS majors, integrating Twilio and other web based apps proved difficult at first. However, through persistence, remarkably intuitive API's, and lot's of googling, we eventually overcame most of our hurdles. Also finding a usb keyboard to enable the pi's wifi so we could SSH in.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

When we received the first text message from the Pi we were blown away that we actually got the code from the Pi to communicate with the internet and the Twilio webservice. Every time we get a text it's a great feeling to know we got this project to work.

What we learned

We learned a lot about setting up a Raspberry Pi via SSH without any monitor. We also learned about web API's and how to interface with them. Along the way we picked up some basic skills in Django, AWS, querying webservers with vanilla python, and more. Also for the future we'll be sure to bring formatted SD cards and ready to go Pi's so we don't have to spend precious hours setting that up.

What's next for Cookie Protector Keypad

We plan on performing a code overhaul, that will consist of a mass re-organization of the code to make it more modular as well as secure. We will also utilize encryption and password hashing to improve security. Speakers and cameras would also be a nice touch. It is also ready to text an administrator when incorrect passwords are entered, or the door is opened.

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