PPE supply shortages are a worldwide problem, and solving this problem is key to finding this and future medical emergencies like pandemics. Also wastage of PPE like gloves, masks and overalls is a huge unmitigated problem. We wanted to take an innovative approach to solving the shortage crisis and create a user accessible product that can sterilize PPE through UV disinfection methods.
What it does
Our Product allows the reuse of PPE by sterilization using UVC. UVC is known to eliminate a majority of pathogens including the coronavirus family of viruses. Surgical instruments are sterilized with UVC. Our system hardware consists of a self built sterilization chamber which utilizes UVC lamps to sterilize PPE. This can also be used to sterilize other objects, and is programmable with various durations and intensities. The mobile application side of our product provides a simplistic way to use the chamber. Users can simply make commands and execute them to sterilize or simply enter a time and start the sterilization process.
How I built it
App: The frontend was made entirely from Flutter. We communicated between the front end and the backends through http post and get requests, which gave commands to the product so it could start sterilizing. I stored the user’s commands in Firebase because it was easier to configure firebase for simple information storing.
Hardware: Sterilization chamber built from cardboard box with 2 UVC lamps daisy linked together. Powered by a WIfi enabled smart switch. The switch is controlled by invoking a python function on the local network, running on an NGROK tunnel with flask. The various settings are stored in a MongoDB database and the status of this device is also stored as a document, these are updated/used when the controller functions are invoked. Remote invocation by app is possible by use of serverless functions running on google cloud.
UVC lamp specifications: 8W x2 Wavelength : 265 - 275 nm Power input: 110V
Challenges I ran into
Integrating all the components together Wiring the hardware without shorting anything Programming the smart wifi plug Coming up with a simple and clean UI Connecting the frontend and Backend via http requests.
Accomplishments that I'm proud of
The hardware all works, as well as the app. We are proud to produce a working prototype, we merely need to upgrade the hardware and clean up the UI, as well as optimize everything.
What I learned
We learned that it is hard to program a Google Home and connect it to a mobile app via Flutter. We also learned that UI is not as easy as it looks: you have to come up with a simple and direct looking interface that communicated each Widgets purpose perfectly to provide a gerat user experience.
What's next for Steril-Laser
A more robust version Lockable chamber Personal units deployed in public spaces, like lockers at school Compress Hardware