We wanted to see if there's a way track the location of an object without using GPS, and without spending money per query.
What it does
So we made a location tracker that uses cell towers instead of satellites!
How I built it
Using a raspberry pi interfaced with a Hologram Nova USB modem, we can estimate the distance to nearby cell towers based on signal strength. By using three or more towers, we can triangulate the position of the device to the nearest 100 meters. This allows for an affordable alternative to GPS, especially in areas with poor weather conditions.
Challenges I ran into
This being the first time we worked with cellular technologies, we spent a lot of time figuring out the API and implementation.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The device actually works! It draws less than 200mA, which is great for remote applications.
What I learned
Always think about the user-end interface and experience when developing an app.
What's next for Trackify
Increased accuracy and detection, with a combination of a better antenna and signal processing algorithm.