It's Kiosk time!

Now that Logan’s EPIC Magic Wheelchair Fire Truck has been completed, it is time for me to turn my attention to the project that I promised when I ran for election as Treasurer, and I intend to keep that promise.

I’d like to meet with anyone else interested in this project in the co-working area on Sunday afternoon at 4 pm. We will need a number of skill sets to get this off the ground. We’ll need a few people capable of programming in Python, as well as someone who can use the plasma table and metal shear and brake, and a number of folks good with electronics. We’ll need to build the cabinet for the kiosk, add the bill/check/coin/credit card acceptors and NFC reader and receipt printer. We’ll be integrating it with Wild Apricot, so someone with experience with that API is needed, as well as someone who can help us set the whole thing up in GitHub.

I don’t expect to take up every Sunday like the Wheelchair project, but we do need to sit down and figure out who will spearhead each specific area of expertise. If you have the skills, please consider at least giving us a hand in getting this project off the ground with a solid beginning.

Thank you very much!

David
Treasurer

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I plan to be there on Sunday. If for some reason I’m not, a lot of the components are in locker #17 in the co-working area.

Yeah, I knew a bunch of it was there. My biggest concern is whether our Panini check reader will work under Linux. I know it wouldn’t even power up under Windows without the drivers being loaded.

I bought some of the Kmart cash registers which included MICR check readers. I’d donate a whole register or just the check reader if you thought you could use it.

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I remember those. I’d be glad to accept it, but I cannot guarantee that we’d end up using it in the long run – it might turn out that it just isn’t suitable for this build. But I’m happy to find out if you can part with it.

TYFSAK!

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I need to schedule another meeting for folks who wish to help out with the kiosk project. I have been scheduling them for Sunday afternoons, but if there’s a better time/day, I’m open to suggestions. If you have any, please make them here in the next few days and I’ll do my best to find the time that works the best for the most.

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Sunday are normally fine. I had to work today. I am going to wait on the cabinet until we are sure what major components are going to be used. That is going to drive the structure.

I will be back in town for Sat Dec 15, so I can meet that Sunday.

TL/DR: Kiosk Meeting this Sunday, come join us.

Now that Christmas is over, it is time to get back on track with building the payment kiosk. We now have what is basically the shell of a standalone ATM with a working safe in the bottom half. The idea is to modify the ATM to house the touchscreen, card reader, check reader, bill acceptor, and receipt printer so that members can securely make payments to their account. The payments can be for membership, donations, merchandise purchases, classes, and the like. They will be credited to their account immediately, and there will be a record of payments made for accountability. It will eliminate the delays that are inevitable with our current payment envelope system, so if a member is on or near their due date, their payment can restore their account to current status immediately.

I’m looking for members who are interested in being a part of the Kiosk Team. We’ll be working together to modify the ATM structure as needed, install the hardware, and write and test the software so that it seamlessly integrates into our existing member tracking software. Future enhancements to the software could make it easier for Area Leads to turn in receipts or schedule classes or for members to find ongoing volunteer opportunities and log their participation. There are lots and lots of possibilities!

If you are interested in being part of the team, I’ll be working on it this Sunday afternoon at 3 PM. If you can make it, great, but whether or not you can meet with us on this short notice, please let me know if you are interested in this project. It’s a great way to give back to MakeICT, improve our infrastructure, build some volunteer time, and make our makerspace just a little bit better! I also plan on meeting the next Sunday, January 6th at 3 pm. Future meetings may be scheduled on different days and times to accommodate those who can’t meet on Sunday afternoons, but it all depends on interest and turnout.

Thanks for being a part of MakeICT!

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I just found out today that my daughter’s family (including my grandkids) are in town tomorrow, so I’m going to have to postpone this a week. Sorry for the late notice, but family has to come first in this case :slight_smile:
David

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Okay, let’s try this again. Kiosk Team meeting, Sunday, January 13th at 3 PM. The goal here is to have the hardware and software up and running and tested by the time our annual meeting rolls around this June! If you are interested in helping to make this happen, come on over at 3 on Sunday!

We now have a former ATM that is donating its body and power supply to become a beautiful kiosk! We have a touchscreen monitor, bill acceptor, coin acceptor, check reader, credit card reader, and barcode scanner. The idea behind the kiosk is to allow members to make payments that are instantly credited and logged. For example: Let’s say your membership expires tomorrow, and you would prefer to pay cash for your dues. Go to the kiosk, enter your name or swipe your badge. Tell the kiosk that you wish to pay your dues, then put cash into the machine. The kiosk takes your money, then updates your membership on the spot. No more waiting for someone to come and empty the drop box and manually update your account. We have lots of future plans for the kiosk, as well. You can register and pay for a future class. Make a donation. Area Leads can deposit donations left in the drop boxes in their areas, with the kiosk recording the amount and area the donation came from. You’ll be able to see a list of volunteer opportunities, then log the volunteer time when you help out. Get the idea? Lots and lots that it can do!

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Got the touchscreen up and running under Debian 9.6. Surprisingly, Microchip has Linux drivers available that work (after a bit of fiddling) even though they are 7 years old. Which is good, because the default drivers did not handle it correctly, and the calibration routine didn’t work.

The first stage of the kiosk will be to allow a user to login or scan their badge and pay invoices with cash (and maybe checks). We’ll use an arduino as a middleman between the computer and the bill/coin acceptors. The current plan is to do the backend in Python, and probably some kind of HTML/CSS GUI.

I created a GitHub repository for this project. All that’s in there so far is the touchscreen drivers, a setup script, and a couple Python APIs that we’ll use later.

If anyone wants to help work on the software or electronics let me know. You don’t have to be an expert to help out. Projects like these are a great chance to learn by doing. I certainly don’t yet know everything I will need to for this project.

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That’s awesome. Thanks, Christian!

I have started looking at the UI. If you want to see it, look in th Kiosk folder.

It is on the google drive… if you have access, this link might work

https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1-Ku_byUHhFB4p0NcyNtGsTwte5F-TkaNCDsQscrR05M

@ladeana, what I see so far is awesome. @Christian, does this need to go on github?

Per Christian’s suggestion, I’m going to bring in my touchscreen monitor (identical to the makerspace’s) so that Christian can work on one at home. We can use mine for building out the top of the cabinet, then swap them out when he’s done with the other one at home.

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Are we having a kiosk meeting this evening? Did Imiss one… or is it next week?

The meetings are set up every 2 weeks.

Probably.

The monitors on that rolling workstation have the same mount pattern as the touchscreen. Would this be useful for us?

Looks very useful. I had cut an aluminum plate to mount them on, but haven’t even got the holes drilled yet.

Just a reminder…there’s a Kiosk Build Team meeting tomorrow (Sunday, January 27) at 3 PM. Whether you want to help with design, programming, or the physical cabinet build, there’s something for you to do. LaDeana is leading up the UI design effort, and Christian is heading the programming team. We’re still looking for someone to lead the team to make the cabinet modifications. If you’re that person, come see us tomorrow!

For those who aren’t aware, we’re taking an ATM that looks like this:

and adding our own bill acceptor, card reader, NFC reader, coin acceptor, check acceptor, and 15" touch screen to allow our members to do all kinds of things in real time.
You’ll be able to:

  • Make membership, class enrollment, or merchandise payments
  • Make donations
  • Pay with cash, checks, or credit/debit cards
  • Order gift cards
  • Enroll in classes or workshops
  • Find volunteer opportunities
  • Record volunteer hours worked
    All from the kiosk! And your payments will be recorded in our system on the spot…no more waiting for the Treasurer to come and collect payments from the box and then manually enter them before you’re credited with your payment.

Sounds like fun, right? Come help us make it happen, while gaining valuable maker experience and skills, by joining the Kiosk Build Team. See you tomorrow!

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The weirdo plug on the touchscreen monitor with power wires soldered to it has been replaced with a normal USB plug and a barrel jack. I ran the 12V line from the computer’s PSU to a matching jack so that we don’t need a separate power supply for the monitor.

I also started working on the UI a little bit. I don’t really know what I’m doing in that area, though.



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@Christian and @ladeana , pick a convenient time and we can sit down and discuss the UI. And I brought my spare monitor down.