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Link to Project: [[1]]

Week 1: September 3rd- September 7th

1. Brainstorming project ideas

- Inspired by the convenience of BIRD and LimeBike, we hoped to recreate this idea in a longboard rather than bikes and scooters

2. Decided on BOARDLOCK, envisioning a single-motor mappable electric longboard with manual locking ability (from iPhone)

Week 2: September 10th- September 14th

1. Max: Research/Acquiring materials (1.5 hours)

- Found optimal longboard size (33 inches), brushless motor, ESC, E-Longboard Assembly Kit, 2x Lipo Batteries

2. Sept 13: All 3 of us met with Jim and our TA to finalize BOARDLOCK idea, make a plan (1 hour)

- Got idea approved :), decided to focus on building GPS using Raspberry Pi

- Discarded building an app (not enough knowledge/would take too long)

- Debating how to manually increase/decrease motor speed (remote control vs wire connection?)

- Debating whether to use Bluetooth to detects user's proximity to longboard

- Debating best way to manually lock/unlock wheels (RFID key card?)

3. TA provided us with materials (Night Light, Raspberry Pi) and locker number

Week 3: September 17th - September 21st

1. Amin, Isa, Max: set up Night Light (2 hours)

- Built and tested the circuit on a breadboard, got it to work

- Designed a case for project (dimensions in millimeters: 50 x 24 x 80)

- Holding off on soldering -- need to show TA case design

2. Max and Isa: (unsuccessful) attempt to set up Raspberry Pi (1 hour)

3. Sept 21: Group meeting with Jim and TA (1 hour)

- Discuss progress and next steps

- Decide on budget, have materials approved in order to purchase them

- Set goals for next week

Week 4: September 24th - September 28th


a) Group: Finalize budget/Receive materials

c) Max: Set up Raspberry Pi, get GPS working

d) Amin: 3D print Night Light design

e) Isa: Understand basics of Bluetooth interface, finish Gantt chart/Presentation slides

1. Max:

- Met with Jim, got a new Raspberry Pi, set up to his computer (2 hours)

- Assembled Longboard (30 min)

2. Amin:

-Learned how to use Tinkercad and designed night light box (2 hours)

3. Isa:

- Set up Bluetooth connection to Raspberry Pi (1 hour)

- Finalized Gantt Chart/Presentation slides (30 min)

Week 5: October 1st - October 5th

1. Max and Isa: attempted to email Pi's IP address to ourselves (1 hour)

2. Max, Amin, Isa: successfully soldered components for Night Light onto Perfboard (30 min)

3. Amin: 3D printed Night Light design

Week 6: October 8th - October 12th


- Learn Python

- Power Pi with Lipo Battery, connect to ESC to Brushless Motor

- Program the Pi, test Bluetooth connection

- Attach motor to Longboard

- *Establish a Bluetooth connection from phone to Pi, be able to give commands

1. Isa:

- downloaded, familiarized with Python

- Start building plan to program Pi GPS

Week 7: October 15th - October 19th


- be able to communicate between the Pi and ESC

- secure Bluetooth connection: Can we give the board commands from a phone?

- Draw connections sketch!

- Program Pi using Python

1. Max: made Longboard electric! (in total ~ 24 hours)

2. Isa: lit up LED light on Breadboard using Pi/programmed in Python (1.5 hours)

3. Amin: researched the best way to get GPS coordinates from pi and plot them on a map. Figured out that the best way to do so would be to write from the pi to a usb or sd card, and program a script that plots those coordinates on a map. (1.5 hours)

Wire Connections from Pi to ESC

Retrieved from:

Week 8: October 22nd - October 26th


- Locking mechanism: Figure out how it will work -- is there a way we can power it using Bluetooth?

  • IDEA: Manual Clamp - similar to a boot design for a car

- Finish assembling Longboard (encase battery)

- Send GPS coordinates from Pi --> USB, write program that used these coordinates to map BOARDLOCK's location

1.) Amin: Made a python script that sends information to usb flash drive from raspberry pi (2 hrs)

2) Max: Designed a case for battery (1 hour)

  • Dimensions:

3) Isa: sketch design and research logistics for locking clamp (1.5 hr)

- Using Pi's GPIO pins: lock/unlock wheels based on Bluetooth connection:

  • Read INPUT pin that the switch is connected to, send OUTPUT to another pin -- powered by Pi
  • If in close proximity of board -- assume strong Bluetooth connection -- switch ON (1) --> high voltage
  • If far from board, assuming Bluetooth is disconnected, switch OFF (0) --> low voltage

Week 9: October 29th - November 2nd

Amin: Worked on GPS. Tried to get pi to communicate with GPS and retrieve some data on terminal when calling the serial which the GPS is connected to. None of these attempts worked successfully, although there is evidence that the pi recognizes that there is a GPS chip connected to it through the USB bus port. (3.5-4hrs)


1) Get the Pi and ESC to communicate for Locking Mechanism (handheld remote already controls the motor's speed)

  • HOW? Wiring from the pins on the Pi to those on the ESC - Program 1 PMW input pin and 1 BEC output pin + Ground pin





ESC pin abbreviations

GND = ground

RX = receive

TX = transmit

CLK = clock in

RST = reset

  • Then, run a program in Python that will allow the Pi to control the motor through the ESC — allow it to move forward or not through different outputs of voltage
  • This way, when BOARDLOCK is "Locked" = no voltage being passed to the motor, unable to move

2) Establish Bluetooth Connection with Pi, be able to give commands

  • Bluetooth connection (ON vs OFF) --> Raspberry Pi (GPIO pins) --> ESC (powered by LiPo batteries) --> Motor

3) Get the GPS Chip and the Pi to communicate in order to display/map BOARDLOCK's coordinates in real time

- Manually connecting the chip to the Pi, connecting the Pi to a monitor, passing appropriate commands on Terminal

- Once this works, write a Python script that will parse useful data that we will use to map coordinates.



- Pi is extremely unreliable, connects to some monitors only, others say "No Signal"

- Limited by only having tested the GPS inside (Do we need an open space?)

- Pi Terminal does not recognize commands to give GPS chip, is not extracting information

- 3 specific input pins on the ESC belong to remote controller (Which can we use instead to connect to Pi?)


Jim suggested that we should solder our connections on the GPS chip, so we did (30 mins)
Amin and Isa: GPS chip and Pi are communicating! (2 hours)


Pi and GPS Chip Connections


FRIDAY 11/2:

- Write program to interpret raw data from Terminal, convert to useful information --> coordinates (latitude, longitude) in real time

PROJECT UPDATE: Amin and Isa will pursue BOARDLOCK, make following modifications:

1. Using Amin's skateboard, will no longer be electric

2. Attach Pi, GPS Chip, and accelerometer onto underside of deck

Week 10: November 5th- November 12th

Amin: Learned what code from pi-GPS tutorial did, then added code to program in order to write Lat, Long values to a text file (4-5 hrs)


1. Interpret GPS data: Be able to locate BOARDLOCK's position in real time -- map coordinates onto Google Maps


Program will read from/write to a text file

Amin & Isa (4 hours): Tested GPS/ Pi part program and began structuring full program which will incorporate accelerometer readings as well


2. Interpret Accelerometer data: Be able to see BOARDLOCK's speed, acceleration, distance

  • Display on computer using USB Flash Drive

3. Print box to hold Pi, GPS Chip, accelerometer

  • Attach button to start/stop tracking -- program runs infinitely in background: has button been pressed? Should I start reading data?
  • Light that indicates tracking on/off -- blinks if error

4. New Gantt Chart

  • Program that parses GPS Chip data -- modify so it runs continuously and interacts with USB, button, LED light
  • Program that visually produces table + map in Google maps from GPS Chip Data -- USER INTERFACE: displayed on Laptop

Week 11: November 12th- November 19th

Objectives: TEST EVERYTHING!!!!

  • Amin and Isa (4 hours): Accelerometer successfully sends data to Raspberry Pi (Accelerometer, Gyroscope, Temperature)
  • Amin: learned to use crontab and implemented it to accelerometer program (.5 hrs)
  • Amin: Worked on Getting button to work and implemented it into our accelerometer program (2.5 hrs)

Accelerometer connected to Pi

Pin Configuration

Retrieved from

Pi reading Accelerometer and Gyroscope Data

Tutorials used:

Code used:

  • Program that parses accelerometer data/GPS coordinates to display onto Google Maps

- Route traveled, how fast you traveled @ specific points in your trip, highest acceleration achieved

  • Put button w/ light on Raspberry Pi to instantiate data collection from GPS and accelerometer

- Light on => start collecting data (program ALWAYS running in background)

  • Design & 3D print box encasing battery, Pi, GPS Chip, Accelerometer

- attach to underside of skateboard deck



Week 12: November 19th- November 26th

  • Amin: Worked on google maps side of project: Finished a program which takes values from a CSV file and plots them on a map according to coordinates, speed, and acceleration (~30 hrs)

Week 13: November 26th- November 30th

  • Amin: Worked on pi side of the project: Finished program which waits for button input to send data from gps and accelerometer module to USB flashdrive. Also made a program that exclusively plots accelerometer data when program is used in places where gps cannot work. -- Also made 3d design that did ended up not being printed.

(~23 hrs)