Logo for Fleetkit
The fake boat registration number on the side of the hull which would be scanned by the camera for billing purposes.
The camera which would have uploaded the image to Google Cloud for processing.
The laser and photoresistor representing the empty dock with no boat.
The laser and photoresistor representing the dock with a Starbucks boat.
The fire and gas sensors for the safety system
The humidity, temperature, and raindrop system which comprise the local weather station.
Technology is taking over and dramatically improving every aspect of our lives. We have sensors which can tell us what is in our fridges. We have drones which can fly themselves through streets. We have toll roads which automatically bill based on our license plates. We have cameras which can give us access to secure doors. Why are we still using pad and paper for marinas and commercial boat docks? Part of our inspiration was that the area was so untouched by technology that it presented a myriad of opportunities for improvement.
What it does
The purpose of this system is to automate many of the tasks which are currently left to the attendant at the entrance to the boat dock or just not completed at all. When finished, it would be the perfect management system for someone who owned a set of docks. In addition, it would use the availability of docks as well as information about the weather and past usage patterns to do surge prices for in-demand services so that some would always be available.
How we built it
The boat sensor consisted of a laser and a photoresistor with plans to integrate a camera for the purposes of scanning the registration number and using that information for billing.
The weather widget consisted of a DHT11 temperature and humidity sensor as well as a raindrop sensor. While many other agencies do provide the weather, in many remote cottage areas the forecasts cover an enormous area. This would give lake-goers more relevant information when making a decision to go boating.
The safety widget utilized both a gas sensor to detect a spill of gasoline as well as a flame sensor to detect whether something had caught fire. Despite being on top of water, fires on boats inshore can be extremely dangerous and it is critical that such fires and even leaks be detected early. Boathouses were banned in Ontario because they encouraged people to keep gasoline close to the water. The same fate could befall marinas if they are not careful.
Challenges we ran into
Integrating as many parts together as we had planned was quite difficult and in the end we were not successful in this endeavor.
What we learned
Initially, we intended to string together API after API so as to build a comprehensive and modular system. However, the base components did not come together as planned.
The other lesson was that we bit off more than we could chew and did not prioritize well or move on quickly enough from things which were not working.
What's next for Fleetkit Dock Technology
It would be an interesting opportunity for someone with experience with docks and water to pursue. We are very much recreational users of water vehicles, so many of the real world aspects are somewhat outside our experience.