sMart Lock

  • 2021

  • Product
    Commercial and Industrial

Commissioned By:

TDMN Pty Ltd

Designed In:


Lost, stolen and abandoned shopping trolleys are difficult to locate and retrieve. They are commonly found polluting our streets, parklands and waterways. TDMN has developed an innovative trolley management system that allows retailers to track, locate and retrieve their trolley fleet. It also provides patrons with incentives for returns.

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Image: sMart Lock™
Image: sMart Lock™
Image: sMart Lock™
Image: Service App
Image: Service App Collection Route
Image: Server Dashboard
  • MORE
  • Conventional trolley management systems include coin locks, and wheel lock systems. Coin locks are inconvenient in an increasingly cashless society. Wheel lock systems require expensive infrastructure and result in trolleys obstructing thoroughfares. The design challenge was to develop a trolley lock system that is: 1) cashless and convenient 2) able to track the location of trolleys and assist with retrieval 3) inexpensive to install and operate 4) able to provide operating efficiencies through maintaining service records and usage statistics This system was required to work with a wide range of trolley types, and to be robust and weather resistant.

  • The system consisted of the development of the sMart Lock™, gateway, server, and Apps. The sMart Lock™ supports attachment to the handle of a wide range of trolleys types. Patrons are able to conveniently unlock a trolley simply by scanning a QR code on the lock using the consumer App. No cash is required. The system provides incentives for trolley return. sMart Lock™ tracks the location of trolleys using GPS. Collection personnel are provided with map based location and retrieval information via the service App. The sMart Lock™ is low-cost, ultra low-power, battery powered, wireless, robust and weather resistant.

  • Society is becoming increasingly cashless. sMart Lock™ provides a convenient, cashless method for incentivising trolley returns. Lost, stolen and abandoned shopping trolleys cost the retail industry ~US$2B p.a. sMart Lock™ provides retailers with the ability to locate each trolley in their fleet, facilitates ease of location and collection. Shopping trolleys are often found polluting our streets, parklands and waterways. They also pose a hazard to people and property. They are the bane of local councils and communities. sMart Lock™ reduces the environmental impact of lost, stolen and abandoned trolleys by incentivising returns and facilitating the ease of collection.

  • Perhaps the greatest design challenge in the development of the sMart Lock™ was finding a way to unlock and track trolleys in a compact, low-power, low-cost device. sMart Lock™ uses a combination of the latest communications technologies (LoRaWAN, Bluetooth, QR code scanning, GPS and 4G) in a sophisticated and clever way to optimise for power usage. This results in a compact, low-costs system that is able to exceed system design objectives. The system is also able to provide retailers with additional operating efficiencies through maintaining digital service records and valuable trolley usage statistics directly linked to each trolley.