Doing food deliveries, one of us came up with the idea of having a device alert the rider whenever some Ramen (or whatever else) leaks inside the backpack. From there on we tried to add features and came up with some different ideas.
What it does
Main goal: help rider avoid ruining the payload Features:
- leakage alarm: if the rider knows when something starts leaking it gets much easier to avoid ruined orders the customer won't accept
- open bag alarm: simply to check whether the bag is open - this was not designed for delivery riders, but normal backpacks
- temperature monitoring for the food: in the winter sometimes riders opt to use a smaller bag to further insulate the food, keeping it warm. This lets them know when it is worth doing so This entire mechanism is toggled on/off via bluetooth on a smartphone with the Nordic Semi nRF app.
Challenges we ran into
Connectivity issues Documentation issues for Bluetooth low energy boards Debugging bad jumper wires in the circuits Libraries with weird behaviours Bluetooth directly on Rasp Pi
Accomplishments that we're proud of
We came up with a blueprint for a solution that would actually be extremely useful in the real-world, once correctly polished.
What we learned
- Transistors! Why they are amazing and how to use them
- How to create a simple water sensor
What's next for SmartBag
- Accelerometer and gyroscope to let the rider know if he is destroying the client's pizza (believe me, it's easy to forget and kind of ruin it all) - this was our second idea, but unfortunately there was no such sensor available
- IR module was supposed to be used for alerting the rider of an incoming car from behind, however this would need a very powerful and long range module (transmitter+receiver)