GPS Tracker for Alzheimer's Patients




First a thank you to my Team members Sean Halloran and Gvozden Suvajlo, they came up with this idea and executed it, this project would not be possible without their ideas and skills.

The GPS tracking device is composed of a micro controller, GPS module, cell module, and batteries
all housed in a 3D printed case. The micro controller is programmed to
communicate with both the cell module and GPS module. When the GPS module is
not within a user-specified boundary, the device will send a text message
alert. We made a device that can track people suffering from Alzheimer’s and Dementia could
greatly benefit the quality of life of both that person suffering and the
caretaker. The wandering of a person suffering from one of these mental
illnesses is stressful on everyone and this type of device could limit this.
Current devices on the market are complicated. A device that uses the essential
components would allow for a more user-friendly device allowing the care-taker
to have ease of mind that their loved one is always accounted for. This device
will be developed utilizing readily available components and housed in 3D
printed casings. Experiments were conducted to examine the durability of the
device and to ensure the device remains secured to the person. Future projects involving this would include
utilizing smaller components to keep the device compact. PLEASE SHARE, PLEASE CHANGE AS YOU'D LIKE!! We would like everyone to have this for their loved ones or any purpose they can think of!!

Step 1: Buy Components

1. Arduino Micro

2. GPS Breakout Board

3. Adafruit FONA board

4. GPS Antenna

5. 9v battery (and 3.7v battery 500mah or greater)

6. Pin Headers

7. Female to Female jumper wires

8. 4 of #6-32 screws 2" length plus 4 nuts, 6 2.5mm by 8mm machine screws 6 2.5mm nuts and 2 2mm screws and 2 2mm nuts

9. 1 tamper proof pin 1/4" barrel diameter

10. you will have to 3d print your own case or put it any case you want!

11. Optional- we added a solar board for charging the 3.7 volt battery and utilizing solar panels if wanted.

Step 2: 3D Print Your Case

Solids works files are attached, feel free to modify and print however you'd like!

Step 3: Install Code to Arduino

We have the code attached upload to your micro

Step 4: Wire the Components

Utilize our wiring diagram, we included a button and LED, this is not necessary but we believe they are nice features.

Step 5: Change Whatever Youd Like!

Edit in anyway you'd like, feel free to share and Let us know what changes you have made to improve upon the design!



    • Arduino Contest 2019

      Arduino Contest 2019
    • Trash to Treasure

      Trash to Treasure
    • Tape Contest

      Tape Contest

    40 Discussions


    Question 1 year ago on Introduction

    I have been looking for the "Arduino Micro" but I have not found it. Is there another name for it?


    Question 1 year ago

    I have been looking for the "Arduino Micro" but I have not found it. Is there another name for it?

    Hui PingK

    2 years ago

    Can someone explain the code line by line for me?Thank you.


    3 years ago

    Does anyone know how to set the boundaries? Where does the "text message alert" go and how do I make it go to a certain device, like my phone?

    Very interesting idea. How would this stack up to something like a SPOT personal tracker in regards to service costs? I pay about $120 a year, get tracking, roadside assistance, and emergency medical insurance.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    In you schematic, what have you hooked up to Pins 2 (green), 3 (green), and 4 (green) of the Pro Micro? Also what is connected to Pins 5 (purple), and 6 (red), of the same Pro Micro? Both items are connected to Gnd on the Pro Micro. I've been looking around and it looks like the Adafruit Pro Trinket would be a good substitute for the Pro Micro ($9.95 versus $24.33). Comments?

    Jack Rodgers

    3 years ago on Introduction

    More serious:

    Apple has the Find My iPhone feature. Maybe a campaign to convince Apple of the need for the device you describe and add it to Find My Parent.

    Jack Rodgers

    3 years ago on Introduction

    With a smile, inside a:


    Shoe Heel (quite a smart idea)



    Nose Ring (about 30 years from now)

    RFID tag to trigger alarm at door

    Hi LoganP2

    Very nice ...Thanks for sharing ..

    Was thinking of buying one of them cheap GPS-Trackers from Aliexpress or e-bay - but cant find one that meet all my need - except for the one mentioned below ..

    ... But guess I have a go at fabricating one !! - It for a completely different application - need a long battery life, Waterproof , 'listen-in' function, Vibrate Alert ... Go-fence . SMS alert ..etc...
    Something like the JT600B from Shenzhen

    I would like if there was a link to web sites associated with the parts list - given in this INSTRUCTABLES ...

    Anybody compiled a complete inventory supplier list ?

    Anybody have an idea of how much all the individual components cost ..?


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    i have bought this device and my opinion is it is useless. It has two options. One is to send a sms message through gprs with the coordinates where the device, but this way as you can understand there a charge.

    the second is , there was a site that you could log your gps device. The minimun interval singla position was 15 minutes (tooo much) and exept this the time was wrong. It was Chinese time. It was if i remember 5 hours ahead and THERE WAS NOT AN OPTION TO CHANGE IT. Battery last for only 1 hour and 30 minutes ,with gprs disabled

    the site that onetime i could log it was it, but now is down

    you can see all commands here, but in my opinion you are goinf to loose 23$ for rubbish

    An one question for Mr loganP2 . Is only with sms thorgh gprs? Can is log it real time to my computer???


    Reply 3 years ago on Introduction

    Did you actually buy "MINI GPS GPRS GSM TK102B SMS Car Vehicle old people Pet Realtime Tracker Device"? It's in Hong Kong and a question to them returns the eBay message that they may not understand my language, English.

    I have the same question about that device as I do all of them: I understand how it's done using a full cellphone plan, but is there a cheaper method? The TAGG GPS tracker advertises $8USD/month. They must be using some sort of cheap limited cellphone plan, but how?


    3 years ago on Introduction

    This certainly is a useful and instructive-to-build project.

    Before I get started on one (a modified one, actually) myself, I'd like to understand the cell subscription ("plan", as they say) requirements.

    I can see how simply using a connected Android phone and Google's Device Manager, you can GPS-track where the phone is geographically. But that seems to require a full cellphone subscription of about $40 USD/month. However, comercerally available GPS trackers, like TAGG do the job for $8 USD/month. So there must be a method of connecting a cellphone with limited capabilities to a network for less than the full subscription price.

    So how does LoganP2's device connect? Does it need a full cell subscription? Or does it connect via some cheaper-plan method?


    3 years ago

    Just get a dog collar GPS. The battery life is 10 days or longer. Less complicated and stops barking too.

    1 reply

    3 years ago

    Great build. Adafruit rocks! I've been working on something like this as a way to track model rockets and remote controlled aircraft and drones. On board data logging (micro SD) adds a lot of value. In your build you focus on reporting the location of Alzheimer's patients. They tend to repeat behaviors. If you track their route, you may be able to identify a home security improvement option or an opportunity to build another device that reports door or gate openings. Great build! Keep geekn' out.


    3 years ago on Introduction

    I've seen some very good devices here, that are definitely market ready.

    Why haven't you taken that course? There are many that do not have the desire or equipment. You only need to utilize high volume molding instead of the high, cost per unit, of 3D printers, which you propose.

    3D printers are excellent for R&D.where timing is also very important or for the individual that needs only one special part/item.

    3D printing is not cost effective in high volumes.

    Aside, I agree that 3D printers are great, but I see much more plastic in the proverbial landfill. Scrap, an unfortunate component of R & D, is exacerbated when process becomes commonplace.

    Oh, why don't you incorporate, a user friendly, and what I thought was common knowledge, lead in on every registration tab. Even a robot would have difficulty in assembling this case. Besides, there can be less clearance between mating components than with parallel engagement.