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    Hi there! 

    My name is Amanda, and I am also posting this on behalf of my team members Anupa and Kelsi. We are a student group from Mount Royal University, all majors in Physical Literacy, and working towards a Bachelor of Health and Physical Education. 

    Our idea: We want to create a sensor-activated mechanism for school lockers to help people with motor/dexterity issues, strength limitations, and/or visual impairments to open a school locker easier. We are trying to come up with a solution that is more cost-effective (we have found sensor/bluetooth activated locks on the market, but they are very expensive). 

    Ideally we would have a sensor component – with a paired device (fob or watch) that would open a lock mechanism when brought within close proximity. As a group we have limited knowledge regarding the design and construction of electrical/mechanical components so any advice related to the technical aspects of our project is welcomed.

    We want to know:

    • Do you think there is a need for this kind of device?

    • Do traditional lockers present a barrier to you?

    • What factors should we consider to maximize the accessibility of this device?

    Thank you so much and we look forward to hearing from you!


    Howdy, I am a maker and new to the site so apologies if I’m less than helpful. Technically speaking, the optimal solution is a battery powered device that clamps onto an existing combination style padlock, which enters the combination when an appropriate rfid tag is present. RFID can also be spoofed by cellphones, for greater accessibility, but reduced security. It would require a micro controller, battery pack, rfid tag and a servo, as well as some specialized circuitry to read the tag and input the combination.

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    Hey there, I thought I had replied to this post previously (guess not), and I would agree with @matthewczyzewski in that RFID is a great direction to go with this. If you are new to microcontrolers, an arduino is a great place to start as there will be a ton of projects like this that could be adapted to meet your needs (although other boards like the esp32 might be viable as well). In addition to the idea of a combination lock, I would suggest looking into solenoids if it would be possible to remove the combo lock, as it might reduce the complexity of the project.

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    @ot3dorg makes a valid point regarding the solenoid. The biggest determining factor in my mind is this, do you want to build a lock, or use an existing one. And if existing, do you want modify the lock itself, or simply manufacture an add on.

    A new lock, made of anything but metal, is susceptible to destructive bypass.

    An existing lock modified, could make the existing lock more susceptible to attack and bypass.

    An add on preserves the lock, but itself could possibly be co-opted.

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    There is some good technical input on this thread, and a solenoid driven combination lock could make for an interesting design project. Would certainly need to be mindful of both security and robustness/reliability. (i.e. ensure the lock can still be opened manually in case something stops working).


    Not really the intended approach here, but there was a success story of a student that utilized a Keyturner ( and a padlock as a way to be able to open their locker independently for the first time.


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