Design And Implementation Of Fingerprint Based Attendance Management System For Tertiary Institutions

Project and Seminar Material for Computer Engineering

Design And Implementation Of Fingerprint Based Attendance Management System For Tertiary Institutions


The implementation of the biometric based attendance system constrained by our scope and objectives was successfully achieved using the waterfall approach through the help of my supervisor and expert advice. We built a handheld device which was controlled by the ATMega1284p microcontroller, the program for the microcontroller was written in embedded programming. An Application software (backs up the attendance in database) which was built using python3 programming language in atom editor using MySQL as the database management system. It was indeed a challenging project and we believe it will enhance the education standard of not only Electronics and computer engineering but also at various Universities for properly maintained and utilized.

Chapter One


1.1 Background of the Study

The recent attendance System in institutions has proved to have failed to achieve its major purpose which was to ensure that the right statistics of students that attended the class can be taken. The major reason for its failure among its short-comings is the ability for a student to sign in for another student. Many educational institutions are trying to identify accurate, safe, and reliable techniques to protect access rights to their existing services or operation. Finger print based attendance system is an answer to these concerns.

Biometrics, especially in information technology, encompasses methods to analyze physical and behavioral identities to extract unique features for identification or monitoring purposes. Various physical features including faces, eyes, fingers, hands, veins, ears and teeth can be used by this technology, and characteristics such as gaits or voice patterns are still being investigated and analyzed as part of the wider biometrics field. Biometrics offers secure methods of access to sensitive services and obviates the need to carry a token, card, remember several passwords. Biometric techniques also reduce the risk of lost, forgotten or copied passwords, stolen tokens or over the shoulder attacks, yet despite all this obvious advantages there is still one major reasons why it has not been implemented in many organizations which is that the biometric technique is expensive and the level of standardization differs within systems, numerous health hazards, requirement for a specialist analytical software and availability of machines with the computing power to run it. Fingerprint identification is one of the most well-known and common Biometric identification system, Because of their uniqueness and consistency over time, finger print has been used for identification for many years, more recently becoming automated due to advancement in computing capabilities. The fingerprint system seems to be the most cost effective and easy to use among all of the biometric system with no health side effects.[25].

Fingerprint authentication has been verified through various applications. In 1924, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) is already known to have maintained more than 250 million civil files of fingerprints for the purpose of criminal investigation and the identification of unknown casualties. It now is being used in numerous field including financial, medical, e-commerce and customer application as a secure and effective authentication method [l].

1.2 Problem Statement

Survey and analysis of the current attendance methods has shown that the majority of lecturers use a paper-based attendance method to keep attendance in Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

Problems that have been discovered with the paper-based registers are

  1. Paper based registers are not uploaded to a centralized system, so the data is lost for analysis.
  2. Time Taken for data collection impacts on lecturing time.
  3. The system can be fooled by students’ buddy-signing in other to ensure that their friends scale through the 75% attendance benchmark.

Consequently, this project proposes Fingerprint recognition as a method to overcome these problems in Nnamdi Azikiwe University.

1.3 Aim and Objective

The aim of designing and implementing a Biometric system is to provide a handheld device and also provide an application which has a database that the fingerprint data can be backed up with.

The specific objectives are:

  1. To design and implement Student’s Attendance System using Fingerprint Technology.
  2. The first objective is to develop the Student’s Attendance System. This system will integrate with the fingerprint technology. This system will record the attendance of the students in class. This system also will provide the facilities to the faculty to access the information of the students easily.
  3. To be able to back up the regular attendance in the database and query it effectively
  4. To be able to print out those who passed the 75% attendance benchmark
  5. To compare efficiency between the proposed system and the manual system.
  6. With this system, lecturer can record the attendance of their students in class easily. They also do not have to count the percentage of every student at the end of the semester.
  7. As a user, students can motivate themselves to be more discipline and punctual.
Research area

The implementation will be in Nnamdi Azikiwe University, we will be using the various levels of students in electronics and computer engineering department


The hardware that will be used for this project is a handheld device that consists of fingerprint module, keypad, Liquid crystal display (LCD), a timer, an ATMega 1284p microcontroller and a serial connector that connects the hardware to the system. And the software is going to be built with Python3 and the MySQL Server and will work effectively on any operating system (Windows, Linux, Mac etc.).

1.5 Justification of Project

The significance must be considered in every proposed system to ensure that the proposed system will provide more benefit to all parties especially the faculty. For this project, the significance has been identified. The significance can be categorized into 3 groups. There are:

1.6 Outline of the Project

This document has five chapters. The first chapter comprises of the introduction, the aim and the objectives, and problem statement, which must be solved in the subsequent project. Following, a critical review of relevant literature in the second chapter, chapter 3 shows the theory, algorithm, prototyping involved in the design of the project, chapter 4 shows the design of the handheld device and the application software, also process of implementation and testing will be shown here. Chapter 5 includes the conclusion and challenges. All additional information such as timing plan, coding are available in the appendices.

Chapter Five

Conclusion and Recommendation

5.1 Conclusion

In conclusion, the objective to build a Biometric based attendance system was successfully achieved. In terms of performance and efficiency, this project has provided a convenient, portable, and reliable and a unique method of attendance marking compared to the traditional method of attendance system. By using database, the data is more understand and query able making it able to sort the data shown on the application software by using a search string. By using the fingerprint technology buddy singing is a thing of the past. This system is also a user friendly system as data manipulation and retrieval can be done via the interface, making it a universal attendance system. One extremely unique thing about this software is that it is cost effective compared to other biometric based attendance system and one can purchase more handhelds and use only PC. Thus, it can be implemented in either an academic institution or in organizations. With the progress my team and I have made, we believe this system is ready for implementation as the new attendance system in NnamdiAzikiwe University. The fingerprints can also be used in the examination halls totally eradicating the era of impersonation and also to implement the 70% rule.

5.2 Problems Encountered

Generally, the work was holistically hectic. Starting from the approval of the topic of the project until the achievement of desired result, it wasn’t easy at all. When the project was approved, extensive travel and wide researches had to be made on the subject. As much as this countries library standard has approved over the years, materials related to this particular engineering application are extremely rare if not impossible to obtain in hard copies. This posed a very heavy threat to this project but was made lighter due to the readily availability of the information super highway (internet)

Some problems encountered included

  • Exporting of the data to the computer
  1. At first we couldn’t export the data saved on the memory to the computer but we later found out that it was the EEPROM we bought was faulty so we replaced it.
  2. We also had issue while constructing the circuit initial plan was to use AT89C52 then connect the max232 and the fingerprint to the same port which was not what was giving us something different from what we wanted so we had to research on other microcontrollers that had two serial ports.
  3. After getting the ATMEGA1284 microcontroller it was hard to get some one that had the programmer so we had to look for and buy this programmer in Onitsha for the project to work as expected.
  4. The project could not be powered with the 9v battery so we had to use the 12v battery.
    Some of the components were hard to find so it took a little more than originally anticipated to be able to finish the work.
  5. Some components were more expensive than originally budgeted for so we had a lot of tension among the team.
  6. Originally we considered using programming language and it proved too difficult then we resorted to using Python3.

Outcome of this Project

  1. A Scientific approach was developed during project work.
  2. Skills and self-confidence in coding and working with softwares like python3 were developed.
  3. An applicable attendance management system was designed for educational organizations. Ideas were presented for making whole system online using portable device and 3G mobile technology.
  4. An improved and faster fingerprint identification system was developed for student identification purpose.

5.3 Recommendation

Enabling Real Time Monitoring:

The proposed system can be further enhanced by using a WIFI system so updating is automatic. That way the lecturers don’t need to even return the handheld device for the attendance to be in personal computer.

Lecturer’s Alert System:

The proposed system can be improved upon by enabling the lecture get an SMS or email update of the day’s attendance immediately the last attendance is taken.

Guardian Alert System:

A student misses a specified amount of classes; an SMS/email is sent to his/her next parent or Guardian to alert them of their ward’s truancy.

Automatic Exam Door Opener:

I can be installed to the door where by the door only opens when one has attained 75% of the attendance.

Online Database:

The database to be move online because of the of data it will be handling daily.

Future Work and Expectation

  1. To make SAS more user friendly, so that it saves the lecture’s time in extracting data from the database.
  2. To have a wireless connection to the PC in such a way that the lecturer don’t necessarily need to be near the PC to update data to the database.

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