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FYP Dissertation

Chapter 1In this Chapter, I will be defining the problem that my client is facing with their existingsolution, and how I intend to resolve it, through my proposed system.1.1 Problem DefinitionThere are various different types of landlords. Some landlords buy a house and rentout the entire house; other landlords buy a property, and rent out individual rooms,leaving just the kitchen and bathrooms as communal areas. Where it may be easy forthe former type of landlord to manage access to their property, it certainly is not thecase for the latter type of landlord due to the quantity of keys per individual propertythey must deal with.My client, S&K Properties have properties with rooms to let in West Kensington,London. They currently have a barrel lock system in place. They find this to be veryexpensive and tedious to be used in a buy-to-let property where there are multiplerooms let out to multiple tenants because they must cut individual keys for each tenantfor both the front door, passage doors, and then room doors. This means that eachtenant will have 3+ keys each, which would all need to be cut by a locksmith and inresult would be very expensive.1. Cost of new keys: One disadvantage of having a barrel lock system is having to cut keys for each room, as well as multiple keys for the front door and anypassage doors, all of which are shared by all tenants. This can be a costlyprocess, as well as a managerial nightmare when there is a large quantity ofkeys to manage and keep track of.2. Cost of replacing a key: In the event a tenant loses a key or an ex tenant does not return their keys, this could be a major cost for my client, as theythen have to replace both the tenant’s rooms door lock, as well as all thedoor locks that are shared between all tenants, which also involves cuttingnew keys for all tenants. This process is not only costly, but managing itlogistically in order to ensure all tenants suffer minimal inconvenience, isextremely difficult.3. Identifying keys: When unsure what each key is for, it is very difficult for my client to find out as they must go to each and every lock until they aresuccessfully able to unlock the door. Due to this, they require a new andmore efficient solution.In order to tackle all the issues outlined above, a technology-oriented system needsto be designed, implemented, tested and deployed. This system will run off of aRaspberry Pi Computer which will control the actual lock, as well as a back-enddatabase which will authorize each key based on the lock it’s used on. The landlordswill also have a Software front-end that they are able to add locks to the system, aswell as keys, and assign tenants to a key, and a key to a lock. In this system, theRaspberry Pi’s will tackle the first two issues mentioned above, while my software front-end, paired with my back-end database will tackle the last issue.My potential solution would have a major impact on my clients, as well as theirtenants for multiple reasons.•Remove key clutter: It would benefit my clients’ tenants by reducing their key clutter from multiple keys (one per each door) to just one that works on alldoors.•Less cost for keys: My client will have a more cost effective solution as they will only need to provide their tenants with one key to operate all locks, comparedto the 3+ they currently do. This will allow the cost of keys per tenant to becheaper, yet just as secure if not more.•Cheaper to replace lost keys: In the event a tenant loses a key, it will be cheaper for my client to replace their key as it involves just replacing their onekey, which in general costs less than a barrel lock key. This is cheaper whencompared to replacing all the locks involved and replacing keys for all the keysfor all the tenants that are affected by this change of locks.•Easier to replace lost keys: In the event a tenant loses a key, replacing the key is extremely easy. It just requires the lost key to be programmed out of thesystem, and a new key to be programmed in. This is extremely easy and just assecure when compared to replacing many locks to ensure security.•Tracking keys to tenants/rooms: Using this system, a key can easily be tracked back to a tenant/room just by scanning it using the NFC Reader attached to theoffice machine. This is easier than testing the key against each lock.•Allow tenants access to more locks: In the event a tenant requires access to more locks, it is extremely easy to do so without even having the tenant’s keypresent, nor having to provide an additional key to the tenant.1.2 System OverviewI developed a System Overview diagram of my proposed system. In this SystemOverview, I am using a Raspberry Pi Model 3 as a server, which would be the heart of thesystem. This server will also host a MySQL database which will be accessible remotely,as well as through my Java Management Software, and all the locks connected to theserver. The server will be written in Java.For the Lock Controllers, I will be using the Raspberry Pi Model 3 also, although as ofFebruary 2017 with the release of the Raspberry Pi Zero W, this can also be used,allowing the system to be more cost-effective. Each lock controller will be running aPython program, which will interact with both the NFC Reader/Writer and theRaspberry Pi Smart LockElectronic Lock. It will also connect to the local MySQL database running on itself toauthenticate the keys. A java script will also be run periodically on the Lock Controllersretrieving valid keys for the specific lock from the server and storing them on a localdatabase on the lock controller itself.Lastly, the Java Management Software will be able to retrieve all data from theserver, such as tenant/room/key information as well as various other data. It will alsoallow my clients to program a new set of keys to a specific lock through the softwareitself. Below, you can find my System Overview diagram.  

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