my explanation An IoT-connected electromagnetic door lock, featuring student ID card access and SMS-based access.
This project was outside of classes, completed by myself as well as Davey Hunt MIT ’12 and Will Drevo MIT ’13. The idea came from access control issues at our fraternity house. We were constantly having issues finding a cheap, secure, reliable way to control access to the fraternity house, so the three of us set out to fix it with technology. What we came up with is this: a door that is locked electromagnetically, which can be controlled wirelessly.
The door can be opened over RFID by interfacing with MIT’s ID cards or MBTA CharlieCards, as well as wirelessly via text message or iPhone app. It’s cool because it allows us to let in our friends remotely, a well as give access to people like plumbers, fire inspectors, etc while all of the brothers are away. RFID card numbers are stored locally, while the whitelist” of allowed phone numbers for the text messaging system are stored in the clod. The system has redundancy with an identical back door, with each door synchronizing lists of allowed users. The system has an LCD screen for feedback, as well as security features.
It is administered remotely via text message. Finally, the system has a fail-safe feature with a crash bar, for safety and fire code compliance. The system has been in continuous use in a fraternity house of 30 for over 4 years without a single problem!