Back Pi Smart Backpack With NFC-content Tracker

Introduction: Back Pi Smart Backpack With NFC-content Tracker

As a student I often forget to bring some of my books and other materials to class. I've tried to use an online agenda but even with that I would constantly leave things on my desk.

The solution I came up with is a smart backpack.

In this instructable I will show you how to build a backpack with NFC-content tracking system and GPS tracking system. The backpack gives feedback trough a 12x LED Adafruit Neopixel.

The backpack is connected with a Flask website where you can see what's inside your backpack, add materials, and create activities.

Step 1: Parts and Tools


Step 2: Setup

One of the most confusing parts of DIY raspberry pi projects is configuring software properly. It can be intimidating and it's really hard to master.

The first thing you have to do in a Raspberry pi project is installing Raspbian on your Pi. I'm not going trough the whole installation but here's a link to an instructable: Raspberry-Pi-Setup-Tutorial.

After the installation there are a bunch of commands you have to execute.

First of all go trough all these commands:

Then follow trough these commands:

Step 3: Soldering and Circuit

Ready to get your hands dirty? Here comes the fun part: connecting all your electrical components.

The RFID-reader, GPS-breakout and Neopixel come default without pins soldered on. This means you'll still have some soldering work to do.

Make sure you've soldered good enough so none of the pins make contact with each other (this can cause electrical breakdowns).

On the RFID-reader only solder the pins you need, you'll decrease the chance of burning pins. There are 2 jumper needed for the RFID-reader. The first one 'SEL0' has to be set to 'off', the second one 'SEL1' should be set to 'on'.

I've used a T-cobbler and a breadboard while testing, but eventually iI've thrown them out because they take in too much space.

The GPS and the Arduino are connected to the Pi trough serial USB connection. It's possible to connect the Adafruit neopixel directly to the Pi but you may have to use a level shifter and it's a lot more complicated then when using a serial connection.

Don't put away your soldering iron yet, you may need it furder in this instructable.

Step 4: Database

Everything in the database is connected. It all starts with the user, a user has a backpack and a backpack has a few more things. A backpack can have activities and an activity has one or more materials.

Make sure you don't save the passwords of your users as plain text.

Step 5: Building the Case

Offcourse we're not stuffing everything in the backpack without a case.

To make the case, I used a 3mm PVC foam board.

It's a rectangular box made out of 6 pieces of PVC.

2 x (19.5 cm - 9.5 cm)

2 x (19.5 cm - 3 cm)

2 x (9.5 cm - 3 cm)

The different plates are glued together with hot glue.

If you're using the same backpack as I did, don't make the dimensions any bigger because it barely fits.

I've cutted some holes trough the sides of the box to be able to put my cables inside my Pi.

To hold the Pi and the arduino in place, I've glued some small plates on the inside around them.

The lit is hold in place by 2 hinges and it's closed with a magnet.

On the end of the box there's a hole to run all the cables trough.

If the cables are not long enough you might want to solder some of them together.

Once the box is done you can put it al inside your backpack. I've cut some small holes in my backpack to run some cables trough.

Step 6:

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    Interesting project. I have never used one of these board before. I am going to have to check it out.