Transportation

The transportation portion of the Marauders Map focuses on tracking the Tufts area shuttle, “The Joey”. While the Joey schedule can be found online here http://publicsafety.tufts.edu/adminsvc/monday-wednesday-schedule/, the Marauders Map displays the wait time at each stop along the route.

Labview Front Panel showing the current time, time until each stop, and concatenated string in JSON

The Labview code takes the current time and compares it to the Joey Schedule for each stop. It then concatenates a JSON string of the stop name, the time until the next Joey, and the latitude and longitude of the stop. This string is then pushed to ThingWorx where the map team can read and parse the data.

Final Marauders Map showing one of the six Joey Stops

In future iterations we would like to gain access to the DoubleMap Joey Tracker API. DoubleMap is a third party company that is in charge of running the shuttle tracker service for Tufts. In the time frame of the project DoubleMap did not provide our team with an API key, but in the future the Marauders Map could feature a moving shuttle as well as stop arrival times.

Physical Display

The Marauders Map is a physical map which dynamically shows up to date information, including users locations, dining hall menus, and local sports events. Our team set out to construct the physical display system for this map and pull in virtual image data from Mr. Chupp’s server. The display system consists of a solid frame which mounts a rollout screen and projector system. The projector housing also contains tools needed to interact with the map. These include a battery pack, a microphone, and a method to click on map elements. While folded up, the map is very portable. A concept sketch is shown below.

Due to component shipping problems, we chose to implement a hidden laptop/dongle system to port the virtual map onto the projector. Final construction pictures are below.

A final run-through video of all front end map features and construction is hosted here

S.W.O.T Analysis

Strengths

The key strengths of our system were its portability, stability, its large-scale display, and easy set up.

Weakness

The weaknesses of our solution were: heavier than a paper map, lack of an independent power-source, lack of microphone, requires a table for a platform, and bulkiness. We addressed these issues by utilizing a wireless screen casting stick which connected to a laptop.

Opportunity

We believe this solution will provide a satisfying experience to the user. An impressive end product that can spark inspiration of students to learn about mechanical design and robotic systems. Creating the framing system created the opportunity to learn about linkage systems, engineering topics such as statics, integrated systems, machining, and industrial engineering.

Threats

The demand for the product may be low due to the bulkiness of the product. Individuals who want to invest in our product may be for classroom use and those who may prefer a stationary displaying platform.

Shane and Ben Reflection

We started this project by attempting to implement IMU based positioning. We learned about I2C, Euler Angles, and how difficult it is to work with the Tufts wifi network. Tufts wifi prevented us from connecting multiple different microprocessors to the internet. Additionally, we had issues implementing the math that takes IMU readings and turns it into location data. We eventually ran low on time, and switched to GPS tracking which  only took us two days to implement. It was also stable enough that it performed without a hitch during the demonstration.

Our main takeaways from this project were to fail early and often. We went through numerous iterations of wifi-enabled microprocessors and IMU interpretation systems. We learned from all of our failures and in the end were able to come up with a stable system which worked. Another takeaway was to make sure our objective was inside the scope of the project.  Tackling an open area of research is outside the scope of a two week final project even though it might be an interesting and educational objective. We tried to develop an IMU-based localization system ourselves, despite knowing that that field is still an open area of research.

People Tracking!

Link

The main function of the Marauders Map is tracking people within the campus grounds of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. As one of the two groups which attempted to tackle the interesting and difficult problem of localization, we wanted to design a robust system.

After analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of a variety of different positioning systems, we settled on GPS positioning, because it is a simple and robust way of getting user location. Most people have smartphones with GPS capabilities, so we decided to design a smartphone app to make use of existing sensors.

A user’s position shown on the marauders map.

We used MIT App Inventor to create an android app which polled the device’s GPS data and pushed it to the Thingworx IoT cloud. We decided to use App Inventor because it allowed us to easily create and test our app in a short period of time. App Inventor made creating a UI easy and intuitive. It also had prewritten code blocks for polling the user’s location and for pushing data to the cloud using HTTP POST and PUT requests.

The key strengths of our system were its reliability, its use of existing sensors and infrastructure, and its easy large-scale deployability. As a locally installed phone application, our system only needed a GPS signal and an internet connection to broadcast the user’s location at a rate of once per second. Since each user is assigned a unique ID, the backend can differentiate between all of them and the app can be installed on a limitless number of Android phones.

The most glaring weakness of this solution is that it does not work indoors. The buildings block any connection to the GPS satellites preventing indoor localization. Another weakness is that the user must personally install the application on their phone to use the system. This puts responsibility for the correct installation and operation of the app on our users instead of on the design team.  Finally, the high update rate rapidly depletes battery and uses up cellular data.

The main financial opportunity of this app would be to provide data for data-driven advertising. Large companies such as Amazon which have not yet entered the Big Brother track-you-everywhere industry might be interested in acquiring us and our technology.

Our largest threat is that people enjoy their privacy and don’t enjoy being tracked. Without user buy-in and consent our system won’t work. Without a large user base, companies like Amazon will not buy us.

Sports!

The Sports portion of the Marauder’s Map displays the sports games occurring at Tufts on the current day. The LabView code gets the html from http://gotuftsjumbos.com/landing/index and checks each sports schedule for the games that are happening on a given day. It then places the sport into a list if it is a home game. The sport, along with its coordinate location, is sent to the internet via Thingworx. From there, the Map group pulls the sport and location and displays the sport as text on the map at the associated coordinates.

In future versions, the map can include a picture of the sport, the time the game is happening, and the current or final score of the event.