My family gets takeout a lot. At our popular local pizza parlor, during the COVID-19 lockdown, employees typically stand outside rain or shine delivering takeout food to your car. The problem is that this isn't truly contact-free pick-up of food. We are still interacting with people who could be infected without knowing and surfaces that they have touched potentially increasing the spread of the virus.
What it does
Instead of handing the food/drinks for restaurant takeout, the people in the restaurant place the food/drinks in a box, then visit a link with a password (like restaurant.com/pass1), making the box closed and secure with ultraviolet light killing all germs on the takeout containers. Then they send another password (like pass2) to a customer when they order takeout. When the customer comes, they go to the box and visit another link (like restaurant.com/pass2), making the box open again. Then, they could pick up the food and go on their away. This process reduces the risk of transmission in takeout significantly and reduces the amount of people who need to be actively managing the pickup process, allowing restaurants to better allocate employees.
How I built it
I used an Arduino MKR1010, a step motor, a box, leds, breadboard, and a few other miscellaneous parts to build it. I programmed it using C++. The Arduino creates a web server, and when the user makes a get request to the server by visiting a link, the box opens or closes using the stop motor and a pulley system with threads.
Challenges I ran into
I was limited to the supplies that I had in my house so I created a pulley system powered a step motor to open and close the door. The threads often got tangled up when the motor was pulling them because I was only using 1 motor and it was opening and closing a big door. For a better prototype, I would create automated hinges to open and close the door.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
I was able to open and close a physical box using the internet.
What I learned
I now know how to use a step motor with Arduino and create a web server with my Arduino.
What's next for Quarantine Pickup
I'd like to increase the quality of my prototype using better materials and redesign the open/close mechanism. I also can make a more secure, and user friendly website for customers to interact with, and restaurant employees to administer. I believe that as well as reducing contact during pickup this also has the potential to increase efficiency for a restaurant after lock-down since less people will need to manage the pick-up process.