A smart lock to outsmart potential bike thieves!
Those of us who live in cities know how easy it is to get around on two wheels instead of four. After all, congested traffic and packed streets make the bicycle the ideal form of urban transportation. Not only are they easy to maneuver in between cars and along sidewalks, but are a rather fun way to explore an area while staying in shape. One drawback, however, is that they are often prone to being stolen.
Maker Scott Bennett was worried about the high bike theft rate of his city, and rightfully so. Vancouver averages over 1,500 cycles stolen each year. In order to keep his means of transit safe and sound, he decided to create an Arduino-based lock system that would notify him should anything happen. With the help of an Arduino Uno (ATmega328) and an Arduino GSM shield, the small apparatus is capable of monitoring the bike at all times, while being tucked away just below his seat.
When starting this project, one of Bennett’s major concerns was battery life. He didn’t want to worry about the power failing and the device itself becoming practically useless in fending off potential thieves. And so, he employed a two-cell LiPo battery that boasted a high charge rate.
The way that the system functions is pretty straightforward: If the bike’s lock cable is cut, the Arduino starts a 15-second timer. If the lock is not reconnected within this short timeframe, the device considers the bike stolen and sends out a text message with the GPS location coordinates. Using this data, the user can then alert the authorities to the exact whereabouts of their stolen bike. It should be noted that the project does require a (prepaid) phone plan from a carrier with a GSM network.
“This project is pretty cheap, especially if you compare it to the cost of replacing your stolen bike! I was able to use some old parts I had lying around and hopefully you will too. If I had bought everything needed brand new this would have cost about $225,” the Maker writes.
Do you live in a city where bike theft is a major problem? Get started on your own lock by heading over to Bennett’s Instructables page here.