tinyML device monitors packages for damage in transit

ByLance T. Lee

Sep 10, 2022

Although the widespread use of online shopping has been a great convenience, it has also led to a sharp increase in the number of returned items. This can be attributed to a number of factors, but shipping damage is a big contributor to this problem. Shebin Jose Jacob’s solution is to build a small tracker that accompanies the package through its journey and sends alerts when mishandling is detected.

Jacob started by creating a new Edge Impulse project and collecting about 30 minutes of motion samples from an onboard three-axis accelerometer of an Arduino Nano 33 BLE Sense. Each sample was classified into one of five categories ranging from no movement to a hard drop or a vigorous jolt. The features were then generated and used to train a Keras model, which yielded 91.3% accuracy in testing.

To communicate with the outside world, Jacob added a GSM module that allows the Nano 33 BLE Sense to send alerts over a 3G network to a standby Firebase endpoint. When the database is updated, the new data is propagated to a user web page that displays the current status of the package as well as any important events.

More details can be found here in Jacob’s project description.

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