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It always seems like an impossible task to find an open table to work or a quick line for food across the WashU campus. BusyBear's goal is to create a database that is accessible to WashU students that will show the population and busyness trends of popular locations on campus, beginning with Bear's Den. By using a network adapter connected to the Raspberry Pi, we will receive an approximate measurement of busyness based on the number of found MAC addresses for a specific region. By looking at pictures taken simultaneously with the MAC address collection, a historic trend between the number of found MAC addresses and relative busyness can be determined. We hope to be able to store this information in a database hosted by AWS and display this data on a locally hosted website. Our end goal is to gather information to allow the WashU community to create more educated decisions regarding where to go and when to go there.


[View Project Log]
[View Project Presentation]
[GitHub Repository]

Team Members

Thomas Emerson
Tom Goon
Allison Todd
David Tekien, TA
Jim Feher, Instructor


  • Learn and be able to code in Python as related to the Pi
  • Investigate ping oriented tracking method
  • Investigate sniffing/MAC tracking method
  • Investigate the use of the camera in the analysis of busyness
  • Be able to monitor busyness fairly accurately by filtering detected devices
  • Compare busyness at different times of day and between buildings
  • Design a GUI for an aesthetically pleasing and useful website
  • Host a website displaying useful and relevant data through Amazon Web Services (AWS)
  • Create a database to store data and use through AWS


  • Limited experience with working with WiFi receivers or anything to do with MAC Addresses
  • Limited knowledge of Python and Raspberry Pi
  • Connecting our data with a database, AWS, and a website
  • Privacy Concerns

Gantt Chart

GanttChart 1.png


Item Description Cost Link
AWS Website Hosting $5 / month https://aws.amazon.com/pricing/?nc2=h_ql_pr
2 x TL-WN722N Network Adapter returned: $7.21 https://www.amazon.com/TP-Link-TL-WN722N-Wireless-network-Adapter/dp/B002SZEOLG
1 x 5dBi Long Range WiFi for Raspberry Pi Network Adapter returned: $5.00 https://www.amazon.com/5dBi-Long-Range-WiFi-Raspberry/dp/B00YI0AIRS/ref=lp_9026119011_1_1?srs=9026119011&ie=UTF8&qid=1550447401&sr=8-1
1 x Alfa AWUSO36NH High Gain USB Wireless G/N Long-Range WiFi Network Adapter Network Adapter $31.99 https://www.amazon.com/Alfa-AWUSO36NH-Wireless-Long-Rang-Network/dp/B0035APGP6/ref=sr_1_1_sspa?keywords=alfa+network+adapter&qid=1553045771&s=gateway&sr=8-1-spons&psc=1
Total Cost $59.20

Tentative Website Layout

Website Design Flowchart


Past Projects:

Pi Camera:

Pi Blinking LED:




kismet & monitoring mode: