What's the idea?
We've all felt the impact of COVID-19 in one way or another. Experts agree that one of the best ways to limit the further spread of the disease is by social distancing. By staying 6ft or more apart, you help limit the transmission of germs and particles from person to person. But everyone might not be as diligent as you are in self-checking their distancing.
Frontline non-medical workers have been putting themselves in danger to keep their stores open and keep their jobs during a time of economic turbulence.
To quote The Philadelphia Inquirer: "Thousands of grocery employees have continued to report to work as U.S. infections and death rates continue to climb...Many workers say they don't have enough protective gear to deal with hundreds of customers a day"
This is where The Social Distancer comes into play
What does it actually do?
The Social Distancer uses four ultrasonic sensors to measure the distance you are from other people at all times. By using ultrasonic sensors, you're able to actively and accurately measure distances multiple times a second. If someone steps within 6 feet of you, the alarm on the top of the device will sound, alerting you and the person in your bubble to stay distanced.
Who is this designed for?
The idea would be to have non-medical people working in the front lines (grocery store workers, retail workers, construction) wear these as they interact with people throughout the day, to help maximize their safety.
Image Credits: The Philadelphia Inquirer
How did you build it?
I built it using an Arduino board, four ultrasonic sensors, a buzzer, and a 3D printed case. As I've never used ultrasonic sensors before, I started by testing one, then moved to all 4 at once. I then wrote a simple if-then statement to constantly check if the distance falls below 6 feet, which activates the buzzer. Finally, I designed a case to hold the components together.
Once the case was printed, I worked on my wire management and glued everything in place
Finally, I attached it to a baseball cap and completed the assembly.