Loko is a tiny, easy-to-use, open-source, battery-operated, GPS tracker that sends navigation data to its receiver via peer-to-peer LoRa radio. Loko works through radio communication and does not require a SIM card or monthly fee. It also works anywhere, even if there is no 2G, 3G, or LTE coverage.
Loko is an investment that allows drone owners to protect against the common occurrence of crashes and signal loss. But Loko is useful for more than just drone tracking. You can keep track of any device or belonging, which is important in a variety of personal and professional settings where you need to know a location in realtime.
Loko is designed to support ultra-low power consumption and can operate for up to 250 days on a single charge with its tiny, built-in, coin-cell battery. The transmitter weighs around 12 grams (0.42 oz) and is only slightly larger than the the tip of a finger (30 x 23 mm). As a result, it is appropriate for use with size- and weight-sensitive products like mini-drones. And yet, despite its diminutive form factor, Loko features a durable plastic enclosure that makes it crash resistant, water resistant, and dust proof.
Loko operates with two units: The Ground Unit (receiver), and the Air Unit (transmitter). The Air Unit transmits navigation data to the Ground Unit at a pre-configured time interval, and the Ground Unit transmits the received data to a smartphone app via Bluetooth. The app automatically shows the location of any Loko Air modules on a 2D map. By giving a unique ID to each Loko Air unit, up to 30 Air units can pair with a single Loko Ground unit.
Example use case for finding a lost drone:
Loko uses a simple computer app to configure parameters. Those parameters are:
Loko can be connected to existing LoRaWAN networks. The Loko software is being adapted so it can connect to any existing LoRaWAN® gateway to get data from the Loko Air unit to the Internet for IoT integration. This feature will be released in a future firmware update.
|Weight||12 g||12 g||40 g||8 g|
|Range||5+ km||3.2 km||Dependent on GSM cell reception||3km|
|Size||24 x 24 mm||36 x 12 mm||45 x 40 mm||20 x 45 mm|
|Battery Life||Up to 250 days||Up to 250 days||2-3 days||Up to 7 days|
|Easy To Use||Yes||No||Yes||No|
|Open Source Hardware and Software||Yes||No||No||No|
|Continuous-Charge Connector for Drones||Yes||No||No||Yes|
|Price||$208 (receiver and transmitter)||$220||$200||$79 (transmitter only)|
Loko is open source, and our board schematics, firmware, software, and datasheet are available in our GitHub repo. We also have a Discord channel for Loko users to ask questions and share ideas.
Our in-house production facility for PCB assembly and injection-molding allows us to begin the manufacturing process at any time so we can swiftly deliver our products to backers. After the campaign ends, we will produce a small batch and re-test everything to make sure there are no issues. After validating our initial production run, we will manufacture the remaining production units. Then we will individually test each board, package them in protective packaging, and include the necessary CE and UKCA marking.
After testing and packaging the production batch of Loko, we will send them on to Crowd Supply’s fulfillment partner, Mouser Electronics, who will distribute them to backers worldwide. You can learn more about Crowd Supply’s fulfillment service under Ordering, Paying, and Shipping in their guide.
We worked through several development prototypes in order to reach a stable version of the Loko hardware, which we’ve been testing for over two years. The software is stable, with new features like LoRaWAN® being added through software updates. And, because our key component suppliers are also our manufacturing partners, we are not facing any component shortages.
"Capable of providing up to 30 days of use on a single charge, the tiny tracker works anywhere even without 2G, 3G, or LTE. coverage"
"Long-range low-power GNSS tracker lightweight enough to strap to drones — and tough enough to take a crash, its creators claim."
"As a result of its widespread use, the cost of [GPS] components is... low enough that almost anyone can build their own GPS device, and [Akio Sato] has taken this to the extreme with efforts to build a GPS tracker that uses the tiniest amount of power."
Produced by noliLab in Estonia .
Sold and shipped by Crowd Supply.
Includes Ground unit (receiver), standard antenna, and a high gain 8dbi yagi directional antenna
Air unit (GPS unit / transmitter) with USB-C development board