As college students, we have a lot to worry especially when we are about to leave our apartments. The hustle of trying to catch the bus to get to our 7am class on time often leads to an unfortunate abandonment of our keys. This discovery leads to a new-found problem of sitting outside our house until our roommate comes to save us. Our team seeks the convenience of letting ourselves into our house without causing trouble by being able to open our doors with something we never leave behind: our phones.
Now you might be wondering - what's wrong with the current smart locks in the market? The problem with existing solutions is that they are extremely expensive and they have a troublesome installation process.
What it does/Why its different
Smartledore allows residents to open doors from the ease of their phone or any device connected to the internet. In addition, current alternatives require tenants to dismantle their doors in order to install similar mechanisms. However, many tenants do not have the privilege to destructively upgrade their doors. In comparison, Smartledore features an incredibly easy installation at 20% of the price.
How we built it
- Wired Dragonboard 410c microcontroller, Arduino Uno, MG 996R servo, and external power supply
- Since the servo is quite powerful, it needs its own external power supply
- Soldered wires to expand functionality of default wires and allow for cleaner organization of our electronics
- Built a UI for passcode entry
- Implemented backend API in Flask; hosted on Google Cloud Platform
- Implemented communication between Dragonboard 410c and the backend API
- Programmed servo control on the Arduino
- Optimized layout of electronics to minimize final product volume
- Designed pins to secure microcontrollers and servo
- Used Cura to slice drawings to .STL files
- Brought CAD to life via 3D printing
- Built a miniature door for prototyping and demonstration purposes
- Designed pulley system to maintain consistent functionality
- Stress tested the Smartledore case to ensure that it functions within the factor of safety and operable tolerance *Available access to additive manufacturing processes, price and structural integrity were taken into account during material selection
Challenges we ran into
- Because we were executing a hardware hack, we had a lot of issues with finding the right tools. For example, we needed a drill to build the mini door, and a soldering iron to solder our wires together. Sometimes we were lucky and actually were able to get the necessary tools, but other times we had to make due with far-less-than-optimal tooling.
- Our initial design involved directly manipulating the door knob. This led to a myriad of problems, such as different knob shapes and lock mechanisms.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
This hack was definitely not easy to build. Every member contributed in unique yet vital ways. If we didn't have members from such diverse branches of engineering, this hack would not have been possible. The fact that we were able to finish all of this in 36 hours through teamwork, dedication, and refusing to give up is definitely what we are most proud of!
What we learned
Door manipulation is significantly more difficult than we had initially anticipated. We had to go through many different iterations of ideas until we arrived at a workable yet satisfying solution. In addition, there were a lot of quality-of-life details that we would have loved to implement but just did not have the time to.
What's next for Smartledore
Why stop at just smart doors? Smartledore has possibilities as endless as the entire IoT market; we aim to make other IoT devices accessible and affordable through simple yet effective solutions.