Inspiration

After facing the continuous problem of losing our bicycle lock keys and forgetting the combinations, The Lockness Monster was born. While keys and locker combinations are easily misplaced or forgotten, smartphones, due to their widespread use and mass appeal are much less likely to be lost. Even if lost, these phones are easily found with the new GPS technologies. Realizing the power of these devices, we pursued a solution using the new IoT technologies.

What it does

Currently, we have a prototype capable of locking and (almost) unlocking a bicycle. It uses a third-party app, available for iPhone and Pebble to provide seamless lock and unlock of use bicycles.

How we built it

In theory, the idea of a "smart" bicycle lock is easy as it is just a locking mechanism combined with a circuit board to eliminate user input. However, it is much more complicated than that as many specific parts are needed. For our project, we used an Electric Imp IoT kit, 3D printed parts, motors, and a variety of different electrical tools to build the physical device. The motors and power supply connected to the Electric Imp kit so we could use internet capable devices to control the enabling of these devices. To physically construct the lock, we used 3D printed parts that we CAD-ed ourselves. In the end, we combined both the 3D parts and the IoT parts to create a functioning lock. On the software side, we used Squirrel, Swift, and Javascript to build the backend, an iPhone app, and a Pebble app.

Challenges we ran into

Throughout the entire process, we were burdened with new challenges. First, it was with the 3D printed parts as we didn't know if it was viable to expect them to finish within a day, but we lucked it out! We had issues with circuitry, physical connections, hardware choices, but step-by-step everything slowly came together. In the last hours, we ran into issues with our main motor which turned out to have a huge resistance, and making out project unworkable. However, by the end, we were able to take apart a few motors and fix our lock!

Accomplishments that we're proud of

We are hugely proud of getting through the different challenges we faced on every step, whether mechanical, electrical, or programmatic. And, we are proud of working as a team to make something cool!

What's next for The Lockness Monster

Bicycles are just the start. We plan for different applications for the Lockness Monster in the home, the car, and maybe one day, even your space ship!

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