Lab Sign-In System

6036 has implemented a new lab sign-in and sign-out system.

We have a fingerprint sensor on which people can put their finger, which will toggle whether they are in or out. This data gets sent to a database hosted by MongoDB.

For security concerns, the fingerprints are not directly stored anywhere except in a hash form with high-level encryption.

We have also created a web dashboard to display who is currently at the lab:

Come to lab.


Shop dog approves.


That’s awesome. Love the web dashboard, very clean.

Do you have plans to open source this? The web dashboard looks very clean.

Be advised that some states have laws requiring parental consent to collect biometric data of minors. We built a similar system a few years back and a parent kindly informed us of the law in Illinois.


Right! That’s why we use a barcode label that’s stored on a rack next to the scanner. Works fairly well; haven’t detected abuse; and luckily our mascot is not a zebra.

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Ours uses the baroness that are already on their student IDs…

That makes sense but since we are based out of a garage, not everyone has their student ids and not all from one school :frowning:

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We used to use a clipboard with a list of everyone’s name, but I have made a new program that may get implemented this year, which will basically involve everyone either scanning a private QR code with a webcam on the attendance computer or entering in their unique code and it logs the time in a file. This should help us to determine who actually shows up and who is there for much less time.

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Back when I was teaching, we only had bar codes on the student IDs. How things have changed. :laughing:


I am not a lawyer this is not legal advice.

Quick google search of “laws restricting the collection of biometric data of minors in California” yields no results that indicate such restrictions exist within the state.

For alternates to fingerprint:

These RFID Readers are what we use for our login system. They integrate well with both arduino and Raspberry Pi. Furthermore, we put stickers like these on the back of the students’ nametags, so they can just use their nametag for sign-in (which they should be wearing their nametag at all times anyway).

While no such (explicit) restrictions exist for minors, almost all states have laws requiring informed consent regarding biometric collection and usage. A notable example being The California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), which requires:

  • The right to know about the personal information a business collects about them and how it is used and shared;

from California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA) | State of California - Department of Justice - Office of the Attorney General.

Which would probably cover biometric information, and as most students are minors, would require parental approval.

Not legal advice - Do your own research


There are more restrictions for under 13. Which is why First does not allow accounts for under 13s.

A lot of these laws apply to businesses. A team is not necessarily a business.

Get parental permission. Don’t sell the data. Have an alternative login for those how do not want to use the system for whatever reason. You should be good. Don’t collect DNA samples. :slight_smile:

Don’t use free legal advice from the internet.


Just to be safe, we are going to put it on the waivers we send out

Also sounds like a good addition to the “stack” of forms we have for freshman and new members, FIRST waiver, school waiver, shop permission, and now biometrics use form OR biometrics opt-out form.

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We got around that with nfc sticker tags we put on the students IDs instead of finger prints.

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  • Something you can’t forget/lose
  • Limit people from signing someone else in/out
  • As fast as physically possible so people don’t forget about it or become too lazy to do it sometimes
  • Digital (so it can we easily viewed with a server and website)


  • Type their name in/select it from a list
    –Solves # 1,4,3
    –Violates # 2
  • Texting person’s phone with confirmation code after they select name from list/type in
    –Solves # 1,2,4
    –Violates # 3
  • Any key, barcode, RFID
    –Solves # 2,3,4
    –Violates # 1
  • Have someone in leadership check people in
    –Solves # 1,2,3
    –Entering data for # 4 violates # 3
    –Also we can’t expect people in leadership to always be there or add that additional worry


  • Biometrics (fast, easy, digital, just need to keep your fingers attached)



O I love this system and would do it in a heart beat, it was just WAY easier to build our system using NFC tags. We used an old Samsung 6 as our clock in/out system.

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