Looking for small GPS Chip for powertools

Discussion in 'General Electronics Chat' started by ixChris, Oct 18, 2016.

  1. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    Hello!
    Is it possible to make a small GPS and place it in powertools like a screwdriver? The chip may not brake by being droped on the floor and all the shakes powertools can make.
    I want the gps to be viewed on a app on a smartphone or a computer.. So you can follow the tools on a map..
    Is this possible?
    Maybe the power in the screwdriver or other tools breaks down the connction for the gps?
    And does the gps need power and how long can it hold charged without power connetion?

    Regards
    Chris
     
  2. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,246
    6,738
  3. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    Hmm they are kinda big I think? It have to be really small
     
  4. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,083
    3,020
    It would in theory be easy to put a small GPS chip in a tool and log where it goes. The problem is getting that information out and onto the internet so you can see it remotely. That requires a radio transmitter and a hook into cellphone-type service. There are several pet trackers available but they all suffer from this problem - you have to pay~$8 per month for the service.

    For what it's worth, the pet trackers are mostly for dogs and are just barely usable on a cat, because of size and weight. A lot of that is the battery, which you already have on a tool, but I still don't think it would be an easy hack to embed such a thing into a tool.

    If you can live with occasionally downloading the track onto a computer, without using the internet, you have more options.
     
    ixChris likes this.
  5. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    Sounds good that it isnt impossible!
    What do you mean with whitout using the internet? It have to be seen on more then 1 computer/smartphone..
     
  6. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,135
    1,786
    There are at least three ways to get information from an embedded device.
    1. Using any standard wired interface like USB, RS-232, or Ethernet to another device.
    2. Using a wireless interface to a non networked computer.
    3. Using a wireless interface to a network modem and the internet
    There may be others.

    This project would be a pretty tall order even for an experienced design engineer. It might take 6-9 months to get a commercially viable product. For a noob it would take 3-5 years best case.
     
    ixChris likes this.
  7. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    Sounds interesting!! I will have to find a pro engineer and get him to work ;)
    Thanks a lot for some good replys!!
    If anyone in here can do it let me know :)
     
  8. MrSoftware

    Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    497
    122
    I've seen this question in various places, and even had people inquire about it where I work. I'm no GPS expert, but I believe there are a couple of challenges here. First GPS performance indoors is very bad, if it works at all. The less windows there are, the worse it is. Second, I'm not aware of any GPS solutions that don't require significant amounts of power, especially when they are searching for satellites, which would be common if the device is indoors. For example, the "Spot Trace" commercially available GPS tracker; outdoors with a clear view of the sky, 4 AAA batteries are good for 6+ months with once a day location notifications. Indoors when satellites are not visible to the device, the same batteries are good for less than 24 hours. I'm not sure which part of the GPS functionality is responsible for the power usage, but it's something to consider.

    I think these would be worthwhile reading:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Indoor_positioning_system

    Example of a COTS product (top google result): https://www.accuware.com/products/remote-device-tracking/
     
  9. Papabravo

    Expert

    Feb 24, 2006
    10,135
    1,786
    That Pro Engineer is going to cost upwards of $500,000 for a three year gig to commercialize this idea IMHO. You got that kind of scratch?
     
  10. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,083
    3,020
    I'm with @#12, I'd start by experimenting with the cheap one on Amazon and see how you like it, or not. If it's great and all you need is smaller, that might be possible. If it doesn't meet your needs, project over and no big loss.
     
  11. #12

    Expert

    Nov 30, 2010
    16,246
    6,738
    Actually, I cheaped out with that answer.:oops: I believe it would be incredible to glue a small, flat, piece of paper looking thing, to each tool I own, and have them all report for duty, whether they are in the wrong toolbox or at a customer's house, but it isn't going to happen. You just can't stuff a radio receiver, a microprocessor, a transmitter, and the battery to run it, into the size of an aspirin pill or a postage stamp...at least not in this decade of time.:(
     
    ixChris and OBW0549 like this.
  12. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    I see!
    Really ashame! So for how long time have you been working on this #12?
     
  13. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,083
    3,020
    I wonder if there would be a way for these GPS trackers to "check in" whenever they pass by a wifi hotspot, to get around the need for cell service. The hard part would be to get the message through the router. Unless people enable their routers to support such a service, no message could get through. Hmmm....
     
  14. ixChris

    Thread Starter New Member

    Oct 18, 2016
    7
    0
    Its for a company.. So the company will set up the routers for this install
     
  15. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,083
    3,020
    Well that's interesting. Even bluetooth - without GPS - might work in that scenario. The tool could check in every time it passes a doorway with a bluetooth monitor nearby, for instance. You would obviously know where the monitor is already, so you wouldn't need GPS.

    I used to use a bluetooth GPS puck like this one before I got a modern phone. More than half the size of that device is the case, buttons and battery. It does not log data, but will pair over bluetooth with anything that recognizes it. You'd "just" need software that could log that pairing event and report it to a central server.

    Actually, the manufacturer GlobalSat does custom GPS hardware solutions, I believe. Might be worth asking.


    [​IMG]
     
    ixChris likes this.
  16. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    ixChris and wayneh like this.
  17. MrSoftware

    Member

    Oct 29, 2013
    497
    122
    If you had long range RFID readers at many key locations (doorways, hallways, near machinery, etc..) and put RFID tags on every tool (just a sticker) then you would have the approximate location of every tool. If you had RFID readers on the exterior doors then you would know when they leave the building too. Think of the automatic car toll systems where you just have an RFID sticker on your windshield and it knows when your car drives by, same idea.

    Read that link above about indoor location systems. There are already commercial solutions.
     
    ixChris likes this.
  18. mcgyvr

    AAC Fanatic!

    Oct 15, 2009
    4,769
    969
    You might want to explain your reason for wanting this too..
    There are many "low tech" ways to deal with tool problems... shadow boards/5s programs/library like checkout procedures,etc..
     
  19. wayneh

    Expert

    Sep 9, 2010
    12,083
    3,020
    I was this close. But another forehead slapping moment for me this morning. Back to my coding....
     
  20. RichardO

    Well-Known Member

    May 4, 2013
    1,228
    382
    Do you think that an RFID sticker would work right on a metal tool?
     
Loading...