Abstract:

The Tracker Turtle is a compact, scalable anti-theft device. The Tracker Turtle can be easily "locked" & "unlocked" from any Bluetooth capable device. RGB LEDs built into the turtle will glow green when the device is "locked". The Turtles can be placed on personal belongings such as laptops and backpacks and "locked" to protect them from thefts. Once locked, when movement is sensed with the aid of an onboard accelerometer and our sophisticated algorithms, it will sound an alarm, flash red, and send a Bluetooth notification to your cellular device. A powerful built in magnet and non-slip surface on the bottom allow the TrackerTurtle to be secured to many surfaces.

An alternate mode still in development will allow you to disable the movement based alarm and switch to a proximity based "wireless leash" instead; alarms will be sounded when the distance between turtle and smartphone exceed a certain threshold, measured by monitoring signal strength.

Inspiration

Our project was inspired by the need for a more convenient method of protecting valuable personal belongings. Laptop locks exist, but are bulky and not user friendly. We set out to create a product to protect your laptop from theft while you step away to use the bathroom or take a call.

Addressing the Problem

Unattended valuables are highly prone to theft especially susceptible to theft, and we wanted to create a device to combat this. Our approach to this problem was to create a device that will keep any personal belonging safe while left out. Thus, the Tracker Turtle was born. We decided that the Tracker Turtle should alert the owner of the turtle, and those around the items that may be stolen, and proposed that our device should make some sensory display such as a loud noise and flashing lights, and alert the user over Bluetooth that their items were being stolen.

Our design would provide threefold protection against thefts: firstly, the deterrent of a glowing green turtle on the personal belonging; secondly, the audiovisual alarms from the turtle once a theft was initiated; and thirdly, the bluetooth notifications alerting the owner and allowing them to take action.

What it does

The Tracker Turtle contains sophisticated movement detection to protect your devices from theft. It is sensitive to changes in acceleration over time and also highly responsive to minute changes in Z-axis orientation (<10°). Our unique calibration system measures the initial position of the Turtle once locked, and monitors its sensors to alert the user of changes from that position.

Additionally, the Tracker Turtle uses Bluetooth to connect with any smart phone. Once the user’s phone is connected, the Tracker Turtle can be locked and unlocked with a unique four digit pin code created by the user. If movement is detected by the turtle when it is locked, an alert will be sent the user’s phone saying that their belongings are being stolen. Once the device has performed its duty, it can be easily unlocked with the same passcode created by the user.

How we built it

The Tracker Turtle’s main hardware is Punch Through Design’s Light-Blue Bean. The bean contains an on board accelerometer, Bluetooth module, and LED. In order to perform the functions we wanted, we attached a speaker and two additional LEDs to the bean. Finally, we used a clear PVC 3D printed turtle shell as the enclosure for the bean to create a simple, powerful device.

Accomplishments that we're proud of

Our team is especially proud of the incoming and outgoing bluetooth communications incorporated into our product.

What we learned

We learned a lot about Bluetooth Low Energy communications protocols in the course of this project.

What's next for TrackerTurtle

We hope to include RSSI based distance detection into future prototypes of this product, to alert the user when their Turtles are going out of range.

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