SmartLockers Complete Assembly

After much work, the parts have been assembled and the SmartLocker is complete. There are a few QA points that need to be looked over and additional testing to be done. Once all those are complete, the team is planning to schedule a time to deploy the system to the Gilroy Compassion Center.

Each locker has a power outlets and USB charger.  All the units are set on top of a wood platform.

The units are riveted together

The lockers will run through a tip over test to see how much force is need to tip over the system as well as a heat test. The plan is to also brace the locker to the wall to avoid the system from falling over in an earthquake.

Smart Locker UI and Electronics Locks

The software side of the project is close to completion. The user mobile interface design that will be used for the lockers has been completed. There is minor software issues that still need to be resolved before it is transferred to the TI platform. The back-end software development has been completed and it will be tested once the interface design is on the TI platform. The picture below shows the user interface design.

The software team also managed to figure out how to properly connect a solenoid lock to the CC3220SF microcontroller and issue commands to it such as unlocking for a set time period then locking again. The team still needs to figure out how to add more than one lock to the microcontroller and develop an algorithm. There will be more updates in a later blog. The picture below show our current algorithm design.

Team Member Spotlight – Zelin Cai

Zelin Cai

Computer Engineer

Expected Graduation: May 2021

Hardware and Software Locker Team


I was born in China on October 22, 1997 and moved to San Francisco when I was around 2 years old. Because I moved so early in my life, I don’t know too much about my Chinese culture. As I grew up, I got into video games especially the difficult ones because it taught me how I can overcome obstacles if I apply myself. Another hobby that I got into was building miniatures because I like the feeling of putting something together by myself. Both of these hobbies pushed me go into computer engineering because while it is difficult, I can become better and eventually succeed and it allows me to build things in lab that I can show people.


Initially, I picked EPICS because I needed a tech elective and I didn’t have the requirements for the other electives. As the weeks went by, I learned a few things like how to work in a team and why the whole team needs to be informed. These lessons can help me later in life when I work with other engineers on projects. This class has also taught about things that I wouldn’t learn in my other class like how to write a resume and what to do in an interview.


After graduating, I hope to find a full-time engineering job but it might be difficult since I haven’t found an internship yet. I’ll also probably pursue my Master’s Degree so that I have better opportunities in the future.

Feedback and Production

Testing continues with the locker system. Expected power usage is being measured for expected and worst case. Heat testing and tipping over testing is currently waiting for the production model to continue.

The Gilroy Compassion Center has validated and verified the functionality and design of the prototype locker. They have provided feedback that has allowed the team to move forward with the production model.

The software side of the project has begun to work on the user mobile interface that will be used for the lockers. The back end software development has been completed but it will not be tested until the interface design has been completed. The interface will be created using Adobe XD and will follow a similar structure to that of Amazon Lockers. Following the current flow chart created by the team from Fall 2018 shown below, the design will include a similar structure with a better unique look that will make the SmartMake mobile site more engaging.

Lastly, the team is also planning on incorporating a solenoid lock with WiFi capabilities. Said design will allow us to connect the locks to a mobile device. Since the software side is still in the design/ prototype creation phase, this task needs to be completed in order to move forward with the remaining production specs. More information and updates will be available in the upcoming weeks.  


Folding Concept, Prototyping, and IEEE Expo

The SmartLockers team discussed ideas for the concept folding locker. The goal of the locker is to have a set of folding locker to accommodate for pop-up camps and field events.  The design will allow for quick deployment and take-down. The idea was a brain child of our community partner Ehb Teng from AtHack, inc. A few CAD drawing were made to further develop the design.

Regarding the main design.  There are a few tasks that need to be completed. The first task is to test the prototype’s heat dissipation, tilt safety and current draw to ensure design verification of the locker. The team is scheduled to test the prototype next week before meeting with GCC to validate the design. The second task is to get feedback from the Gilroy Compassion Center to validate and verify the functionality and design of the prototype locker. A meeting has been scheduled to meet with the GCC. The third task is to integrate the user interface software with the locker and test its usability. Once these tasks are approved and verified, our last task would be to send the design to a outside machine shop to build a set with the specified  materials and dimensions. A Prototype was made using a thinner gauge sheet metal to get an idea of the dimensions.

Additionally, the team presented at the IEEE Expo in February.  The expo was in partnership with San Jose State University and Santa Clara University to show of community projects from both schools.  A handful of participants received grants funding to expand the scope of the projects. The project that received funding for SJSU EPICS include, Team Aquaponics, Underwater ROV team, and the SmartLocker Team.