When we thought about tackling the pandemic, it was clear to us that we'd have to think outside the box. The concept of a hardware device to enforce social distancing quickly came to mind, and thus we decided to create the SDE device.
What it does
We utilized an ultra-sonic sensor to detect bodies within 2m of the user, and relay that data to the Arduino. If we detect a body within 2m, the buzzer and speaker go off, and a display notifies others that they are not obeying social distancing procedures and should relocate.
How we built it
We started by creating a wiring diagram for the hardware internals using Circuito. This also provided us some starter code including the libraries and tester code for the hardware components. We then had part of the team start the assembly of the circuit and troubleshoot the components while the other focused on getting the CAD model of the casing designed for 3D printing. Once this was all completed, we printed the device and tested it for any bugs in the system.
Challenges we ran into
We initially wanted to make an Android partner application to log the incidence rate of individuals/objects within 2m via Bluetooth but quickly found this to be a challenge as the team was split geographically, and we did not have Bluetooth components to attach to our Arduino model. The development of the Android application also proved difficult, as no one on our team had experience developing Android applications in a Bluetooth environment.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Effectively troubleshooting the SDE device and getting a functional prototype finished.
What we learned
Hardware debugging skills, how hard it is to make an Android app if you have no previous experience, and project management skills for distanced hardware projects.
What's next for Social Distancing Enforcement (SDE)
Develop the Android application, add Bluetooth functionality, and decrease the size of the SDE device to a more usable size.