Project image
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$2,520
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, December 9 2014 9:11 PM UTC +00:00

Lock-Bot

Secure, Wi-Fi lockbox for the connected property that bridges the communication gap between owner and renter.

Lock-Bot

Secure, Wi-Fi lockbox for the connected property that bridges the communication gap between owner and renter.

$2,520
pledged of $100,000pledged of $100,000 goal
35
backers
Funding Unsuccessful
The project's funding goal was not reached on Tue, December 9 2014 9:11 PM UTC +00:00

About

Security and Insight

Lock-Bot is designed to be secure.  It uses its internet connection to its advantage. Our ability to regularly request status from Lock-Bot allows us to ensure that its contents are always properly protected.  We can check on the status of the RFID key chain to see if your guest has checked out, or if the key is missing.  Lok-Bot is more than just some quiet lock. Its ability to use infinite access codes, and to communicate, enhances security.

If security were all that mattered, however, our software would have been easier to create.  Instead, we sought to put property owners in the know.  Whether they're right next door or across the continent, Lock-Bot gives them better insight into the rental process and improves their peace of mind.

Features

  • Hardened secure structure
  • Manual bypass combination entry
  • WiFi enabled
  • Securely encrypted end to end (multiple algorithms)
  • Battery and/or AC power
  • Power Save modes
  • RFID Key detection with included keychain
  • Text messaging to owner and renters
  • Mobile Web access for renters (no application required)
  • Owner Dashboard with access record reports
  • No subscription fees

How it works

We wouldn't have gotten far without a fantastic team of engineers and creative individuals.  ThoughtCopter LLC. is proud to have such talented team members and partners.

Lock-Bot Team

Schedule

Our plan is to get a quality device put together that will last our customer a lifetime.  We've already begun working through our part-manufacturing plan with an eye to balancing cost and durability.  In addition, we realize that our software has to be truly tamper-proof.  We are using enterprise class frameworks and security protocols, and we're testing every step of the way.  The goal is to have our early release products ready to ship to supporters by May.  This goal has been set with an understanding of all the steps we need to take (including grabbing a bit of padding).

Why did we create the Lock-Bot?

A Story:

It all began on a trip to Puerto Rico in 2013.  I was heading out on a surfing adventure, but my flight was delayed, which meant that I wouldn’t be arriving in Puerto Rico until 3:00 a.m.  In addition to my worries about being too tired to surf, I was very concerned that I wouldn’t be able to open the little cottage that I had booked through an online property listing site. The hand­-off of my rental arrangements from the booking website to the property owner had made details about checking in a little unclear. 

I realized I would have to reach out by phone for clarification.  Would they answer?  Would they be angry about the late hour? It’s really nerve­-wracking to know you’re going to have to call and try to wake someone up at 3:00 a.m. 

I wasn’t even sure what number to call.  There was a number on the email that I had received confirming the trip, so I did what I had to do.

I ended up waking a man whom the property owner had arranged to watch the cottage. I’m not sure what he was paid, but I can assure you it wasn’t enough.  He informed me that there was a lockbox on the door and that the code was (believe it or not) the last four digits of the phone number I had just dialed.  I’m not sure who came up with that system, but I think it’s safe to assume that, as long as they possess mediocre short­-term memory skills, the scores of surfers renting the cottage over the years won’t need to wake the guy up in the middle of the night ever again.  

Coming from a banking background, where security is top priority, I pondered how broken and potentially expensive for the property owner the man’s phone number system was.  I thought about how unnerving it was to be in an unfamiliar place and not know how I was going to get into my room.

I really love to travel, and I’m thrilled at the prospect of renting more personal properties. I think HomeAway, AirBnB and other sites are the future, and I was inspired by the cracks in the system to begin thinking of a better, more secure way for vacationers and property owners to connect.

Our Design Journey

Design Refinement
Design Refinement

Finally

The final design for the prototype came from Todd Mendoza at Priority Designs.  He created a more secure "lock-like" structure with a recessed door.  He added the chamfered molding and designed the secure mounting bracket.  The bracket allows for installation and removal only when the lock is in the open position.  We love the way it looks now and are choosing new materials for the production model.

Final design for the prototype
Final design for the prototype

Risks and challenges

Lock-Bot has come a long way since its inception, and although we are confident in our ability to bring it to market, there are some risks associated with the manufacturing process.

Manufacturing: Lock-Bot will require molds for all of its parts, including the outer shell, which will need to be forged. Mold production is costly and can take time to do with quality. This part of the process contains the most risk and is the most expensive.

Product Adjustments: We are very pleased with the prototype that we've created as part of the development and testing phase. As we have been working with it, however, great ideas keep emerging that we know our customers would appreciate. There are two major adjustments already planned; one that will add a hanging mechanism for the Lock-Bot, and another that will provide backup access in case of a complete power outage. These two items have already been designed, but any more changes would add time in the production process. We have time-boxed our efforts to ensure that we will deliver the best product in the time we've allotted.

Software: There is quite a bit of complexity to Lock-Bot's software stack. We have leveraged enterprise security frameworks to create a secure product. We are using Spring security frameworks for the owner's admin console, Oauth2 and custom token communication between the user interfaces and rest services on our JEE server. All communication will take place over SSL, and there is an added layer of security for the Wi-Fi communication. All of these interfaces require testing to ensure that the system is secure and fault-tolerant. We have been conducting testing as development has progressed, but there is always some risk that we may encounter hurdles that must be addressed.

Fulfillment: In order to mitigate any delays due to vendor problems, we are working to establish multiple relationships for both the part manufacturers and fulfillment houses.

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Support

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $5 or more About $5

    Make our Donor Page. A special thank-you from the Lock-Bot team online and our sincere appreciation.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Official Lock-Bot campaign T-shirt. Look security-minded and small business-supportive in your very own Kickstarter campaign Tee.

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    Pledge $15 or more About $15

    Bike cord mounting option: We are adding a super-cool bike cord attachment option so the Lock-Bot can connect to a doorknob.

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    Pledge $20 or more About $20

    ThoughtCopter Logo T-shirt: Just a fun logo to sport on a t-shirt. We promise these will be comfy, too!

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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $65 or more About $65

    Early Bird Special pricing: Be the first to host your travelers with Lock-Bot and help us bring it to the world.

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    Pledge $70 or more About $70

    Early Bird Holiday Gift Pack: Know someone who couldn't live without a Lock-Bot for the holidays? We'll send a specially wrapped promise card on your behalf before Dec. 25th, and then follow up with shipment of a Lock-Bot when we release.

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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $79 or more About $79

    Kickstarter pricing for your very own Lock-Bot. This version will come with the secured mounting bracket. Be sure to also choose the bike cord reward package if you need one.

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  8. Select this reward

    Pledge $85 or more About $85

    Holiday Gift Pack: Know someone who couldn't live without a Lock-Bot for the holidays? We'll send a specially wrapped promise card on your behalf before Dec. 25th, and then follow up with shipment of a Lock-Bot when we release.

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  9. Select this reward

    Pledge $140 or more About $140

    Lock-Bot twins: a two-pack of Lock-Bots. Get a little savings and help us twice as much! This version will come with the secured mounting bracket. Be sure to also choose the bike cord reward packages if you need them.

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  10. Select this reward

    Pledge $345 or more About $345

    I guess you have a lot of vacation homes. Lucky you! Enjoy this 5-pack of Lock-Bots at a super-low price. Be sure to also choose the bike cord reward packages if you need them.

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    Pledge $5,000 or more About $5,000

    Crazy-maker package: Rick Gonzalez, our founder, will fly to anywhere in the US and give a 2-hour demonstration of the 3D modeling and printing techniques he used to create the Lock-Bot. Great for groups! Comes with two Lock-Bots!

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    Pledge $10,000 About $10,000

    Just in case package: In case someone really wants to give us money! This package includes the original 3D printed proof of concept for the Lock-Bot, everything in the Crazy-maker package and our sincere gratitude, as well as five T-shirts, five Lock-Bots and bike cords.

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Funding period

- (40 days)