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First car alarm in the world was invented by an unknown prisoner from Denver, USA in 1913. His system was manually armed to protect the engine. Nowadays, alarms are more sophisticated, using a lot of different sensors and ways to protect cars from being stolen. Usually alarms can be divided into two categories: ones that are built in factory and aftermarket that are installed later. Besides technology helping us to protect cars, ideas how to do it are even more valuable.


Design Task

Cars have variety of different sensors and ways to prevent grand theft auto. However, result of the alarms is generally same – flash lights and make loud noise to draw attention. It could also send a signal to owner’s key. Types of sensors used can be seen in the picture. They are all connected to alarm controller and are measuring physical values such as interior pressure, sound, door locks etc. If there is a change in environment, such as loud noise in the cabin – it sends a signal to controller. Of course we have to take into account that some noise might come in from the streets. So the level of trigger value should be according to the environment. That is the reason why some cars are so sensitive and alarm goes off when pedestrian is walking too close. Some cars have systems that warn before alarm going off.


Design Process

  1. Find out what type of sensors you could use to make a car alarm
  2. Develop a schematic of the system on the paper such as in the picture. Think of how to arm and disarm the robot. How to make noise or some other ways to draw attention.
  3. Make the hardware compatible to your ideas.
  4. Develop program to be ran on your hardware.
  5. Develop a user manual for clients that purchase your alarm



Let other students try to steal your robot. Find out which robot is most secure!
Discuss what is the most secure solution for protecting cars. Imagine what would be future car alarms!

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • Basic concept how car alarms work
  • How to use sensors for detecting human activity
  • How to develop hardware robot from idea on paper and to a solution



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