MakerPass is a platform that makes it simple to install and manage access and track usage of space, equipment, and vending services. It is the brain child of Nova Labs Co-Founders Jason Kohles and Ted Markson and solves one of the more difficult problems of managing a makerspace.
The board you see is the heart of the MakerPass platform: the MakerPass Wiegand Board. Wiegand is a communications protocol that HID Global card readers and other commercial access control products use.
The advantage of the MakerPass platform is that it adds intelligence at each access control point. This eliminates the need for running the Wiegand interface back to a control panel, which saves hundreds of feet of wiring.
For instance, if a user requests access to the table saw, MakerPass can make high level decisions to also turn on the blast gate and dust collector. It adds logic at the point of control.
A standard topology connects the MakerPass Wiegand Board over UART via RS-485 to a Wifi-enabled “Node Manager” such as a Raspberry Pi or BeagleBone Black. The Node Manager would then connect to an internal or cloud-based network to confirm a request against an authentication server.
One Node Manager can manage up to 32 MakerPass Wiegand Boards.
Here is a picture of an early prototype:
The project is available on GitHub.
We’re featuring Nova Labs hardware innovation all this week leading up to NoVa Maker Faire. Stay tuned!