This Arduino based project allows the giver to send the recipient on a fun and/or romantic journey in order for the gift box to unlock.
The GPS AdventureBox and route planner now work with either metric or imperial units!
400% Stretch Goal Achieved!
Everyone who backs with $80 or more will receive a USB SD card reader with their reward. Thank you for making this possible!
It is your 25th wedding anniversary and your spouse hands you a nice little wooden box. The box is locked shut. On the top of the box is a small LCD screen and a simple button. You press the button and the LCD screen comes to life. It displays... "Go to where we first met."
You take the box to that location and press the button. It now displays "Now go to where we had our first date." You take the box to that location and press the button. The display now reads "I'll see you at home."
When you get home, you notice a romantic dinner for two has been prepared and your spouse sitting with a wide grin. You press the button on the box and you hear a "click". The box is now unlocked and you open it to find a stunning piece of jewelry inside.
How awesome a gift would this be???
This box utilizes an Arduino microcontroller, small GPS unit, SD memory card, and and LCD screen.
The recipient must go to multiple locations (as many as the giver wants) before it will open. The giver uses the Route Planner tool on GPSAdventureBox.com and creates a destination list that is loaded onto an SD memory card, puts the SD card in the slot (inside the box), some fresh batteries and the actual gift in the box, and gives it to the recipient. The hints or clues can be as simple or difficult as the giver wants.
This box can be used over and over again without needing to reprogram the microcontroller. Simply refresh the batteries and change the destination list. That's it!
With this project I aim to acquire the needed capital to purchase the needed supplies in large enough quantities to make it a good deal.
I have put a lot of time and effort into this project and feel that it is ready to take off. It would be viable with only barely meeting my financial goal, but I could also sustain significantly larger success. I have lined up multiple sources for each of the components to ensure no delays in meet my obligations.
I also have a great support network of friends and family that are willing to step up and help me out with my projects if they scale up to Kickstarter proportions.
$5,000 or $5,000,000... I won't let you down!
Here's what you get with each reward:
$1 Sponsor Package: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com
$5 Coder Package: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com and electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics).
$15 Tinkerer Package: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com, electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics) and a professionally printed PCB (no other parts).
$40 Tinkerer Plus Package: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com, electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics) and a PCB with mounted parts Including the header pins, resistors, and SD card reader (you will still need the GPS, LCD, switches, batteries, SD card, servo, box, arduino, wiring, mounting screws and hardware).
$80 or $100 Do it Yourself-er Packages: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com, electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics) and a PCB with all required electronic components (including the header pins, resistors, SD card reader, SD card, GPS, LCD, switches, servo, arduino, and wiring). You will have to provide the box, batteries, solder, brackets, and screws.
$135, $140, $150, $155 Non-engraved Packages: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com, electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics) and a complete functioning GPS AdventureBox (you provide the 4 AA batteries).
$150, $155, $165, $170 Engraved Packages: Your name listed on the "Thank you" page of GPSAdventureBox.com, electronic documentation (source code, PCB diagram, 3D STL files, and schematics) and a complete functioning GPS AdventureBox (you provide the 4 AA batteries). I'll also laser engrave the inside lid with whatever text you like. We may also be able to do images depending on what it is.
$200 Advertiser Special Package: You will get a 200x100 pixel image with link posted on our "Thank you" page at GPSAdventureBox.com for one full year or more.
$1,000 Sponsor Special Package: You will get one 728x90 pixel image with link posted on the main page of GPSAdventureBox.com for one full year or more.
Here are some photos of the finished GPS AdventureBox (without engraving):
The conception of the GPS AdventureBox...
It was three years ago I first started the GPS AdventureBox project with a breadboard prototype in my garage. I wanted to find a unique way for people to give a gift with a twist. The idea was simple.
Put a gift inside a locked box and force the recipient to solve an on-screen hint/clue/puzzle to determine the special geographical location that, once the box is taken there, unlocks the next clue. Once all of the designated locations have been visited, the box unlocks.
Though I was able to make a working prototype, I was not happy with the complexity in creating the route (list of designated locations and clues).
I re-opened this project armed with newer technology and better tools. These were the goals...
- Make it simple
- Make it user friendly
- Make it affordable
- Make it fun
As I was designing the breadboard prototype, I wanted to keep component supply issues in mind; it doesn't make sense to rely on a special component that is difficult to procure.
After several weeks of research, I had the first prototype working.
I then went on to decide the best mechanical layout and evaluate potential sources for the actual wooden box.
I bought several generic wooden boxes from the internet and local crafts stores, but was unhappy with the quality and the design. This lead me to find wood workers that could produce custom (and higher quality) boxes and in potentially large quantities.
Here is an image of the assembled prototype in a simple wooden box from a craft store...
I found a site called CustomMade where I could put out a design and get proposals from wood workers all over the world. After negotiations with several shops and multiple sample boxes being ordered, I found a primary supplier: Nycoma Scott of Appalachian Moon Woodworks in White Sulphur Springs, WV.
This supplier has an outstanding portfolio of completed projects (some very large in scale) and the means to keep up with high demand. I do have several other makers lined up for redundancy purposes.
The boxes will be made of choice Poplar wood with a clear lacquer finish. The open area where the gift is placed will measure 7.75" long x 5.25" wide x 2.75" tall.My design requires the use of several custom mechanical parts. These have been designed in AutoCAD and will be printed using an Ord Bot Hadron 3D printer. I have also received quotes on injection molded production if this project is successful enough to warrant higher quantities.
I also designed the printed circuit board (PCB) for the GPS AdventureBox and received quotes on time and price for a range of possible quantities.
My production plan will be as follows...
Once I feel that I will meet my minimum goal of $5,000, I will place on order all of the electronics components from US suppliers, order the first batch of 50 PCBs and first 50 wooden boxes. My suppliers are aware of the potential order and have assured the availability and timeliness of delivery.
Since my design is simple and uses mostly pre-assembled components, the actual assembly including soldering and testing takes only 45 minutes. I am allotting 60 minutes per box in my calculations.
I own a 40W Laser cutter/engraver for completing the engraving for the applicable rewards, so that will go quickly and accurately.
Based on the success of this project (exceeding my goal of $5,000), I will place follow-on orders for the necessary components and repeat the process. I have a multiple friends and family with electronics experience that are ready and willing to assist in production if things get crazy.
I have setup a blog to document this project from start to finish, so everyone can be kept up to speed. http://gpsadventurebox.com/news/
The GPS AdventureBox contains material duly licensed from The Sundial Group.
Risks and challenges Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
As with any Kickstarter project, the matter of scale can be unknown; a project can do okay and meet its goal, or it can blow up and exceed it by 3000%. The issue of fulfillment and being scalable is a potential risk. I have designed my project to handle this possibility. I am allowing myself plenty of time to fulfill initial "early bird" orders and time compartmentalized packages. If this project is successful enough, I can ramp up my process to keep my end of the bargain. I have also diversified my supply chain to reduce/eliminate weak links.
Bottom line... If you sponsor my project, you will get your reward as described within the listed time frame.
The lcoking mechanism is as strong as the wood box itself. If someone really wanted to cheat it, they could just smash the box, but we assume you are giving it to someone you trust not to do that.
Will the gps reader - update itself in real time - so the person knows exactly where to go - while they are on the move?
Yes, the distance on screen is updates every 3 seconds.
The battery pack is designed to hold 4 AA batteries. These batteries will keep the system powered on for at least 8 hours. Powered on means system online displaying distance and hints. The unit does not have to be powered on while the person is in transit to a location. It can be turned on and off with the button on top.
Yes, all backers of $5 or more will get access to the source code.