WHY IS IT USEFUL?
In the world of competitive and recreational rock climbing, there is often a need for others to know exactly where the climber is on the rock wall. This is currently done using a "judge" who is constantly watching the climber and making sure that he/she does not use any holds that they are not permitted. This human involvement is inefficient, so we came up with an unmanned solution. RFiClimb's data also allows climbers to track their activity and climbing gyms to monitor their routes.
We decided to make "RFiClimb" to continue the tradition of creating something based on one of our hobbies. Last year we built an "Electric Saxophone" because Jonathan plays the saxophone, and this year we made "RFiClimb" because of Ben's rock climbing hobby.
At the 2017 World Maker Faire, we received a "best in class" award for the young makers' section and three editors' choice awards.
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Our solution consists of a homemade radio frequency identification reader on the climber's wrist and RFID cards in every climbing hold. When a person uses a hold, the reader on their wrist identifies the hold and, via Bluetooth, broadcasts this identity back to an Arduino based centralized computer for further processing. Using this information, the central processor may do a variety of different functions, including but not limited to (since our software, currently 1534 lines of code, can be added to for greater functionality): recording and displaying on an Arduino based integrated scoreboard the highest hold reached, recording the length of time taken, indicating use of an illegal hold, and by compiling all of this data, constructing a leader-board for display and competition results. There is also a function where the computer will record the holds used to allow it to learn a series of holds for future use. It may store this series on an SD card along with up to 99 other climbs. When the user would like to climb a certain route of holds, they can simply click a download button to use this series.