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NFC-enabled Tool Lockers

We have portable tools that require training before use, or which are valuable and at risk of being borrowed or stolen. The proposed solution is to create individual lockable compartments operated by our existing NFC tokens.


Option: We will use some of the existing wall shelving in the workshop. Vertical dividers will be added to create closed compartments. Compartment doors will be made from clear acrylic.

Option: We will purchase a KALLAX shelf from IKEA. This can mounted to a wall or left floor-standing. The back will be closed with a sheet of wood. Compartment doors will be made from clear acrylic.


Electric cabinet locks [DSCK7267] will be used to secure the doors. These locks are 12V operated, fail-secure, and with a closure detection switch. A TTP223 touch sensor module will be used to trigger the release of an individual lock after authentication via NFC.


A single controller will operate a group of lockers. It's likely that an ESP32 will be used, with a PN532 NFC module and 20×4 LCD.

I2C expanders and relays will be mounted on stripboard for the interface to the locks and sensors.

Addressable RGB LED strip will be installed in each compartment to provide status feedback (tool checked in/out, compartments authorized after an NFC swipe).

Use Cases

Some of the tools or equipment that might be stored securely (some of these are only likely to be purchased if secure storage is available):

  • Makita cordless tools (to avoid borrowing or theft)
  • Angle grinders (to ensure that users are trained)
  • Good quality measurement tools (calipers, micrometers)
  • Hand tool kits with easily lost parts
toollockers.txt · Last modified: 2019-01-24 16:29 by tim