• davidschlender

Social Distancing Headgear - A Covid Quarantine Contraption

It's been over a year since I made this, but I wanted to put it on the web, because why not? While couped up in my apartment during the March 2020 quarantine, I had a lot of free time. My mind went to strange places. And during that time, I devised a device to warn the user, as well as their nosy bystanders, that they're getting a little too close for Covid.

Essentially, it's a 360° personal RADAR system that warns the wearer when an object is closer than a predefined distance. It consists of the following components:

  • Arduino Uno

  • (2) HC-SR04 ultrasonic rangefinders

  • Hitec HS-403 hobby servo

  • Sunfounder serial RGB LED (TS0196D)

  • Sunfounder passive buzzer module (TS0210D)

  • Radioshack 5.5"x2.5"x2" project enclosure (2701803)

  • A piece of PC plastic I scavenged to make the Rangefinder bracket, with Sugru holding the rangefinder PCBs in place

  • 5V USB external rechargeable battery

  • USB cord, cut, stripped, and soldered to a mono 3.5mm headphone jack

  • Panel-mount female mono 3.5mm headphone jack for power input, wired to Arduino

  • A Bell bicycle helmet

  • (2) 12" cable ties

Final build, with project enclosure

Pre-enclosed build, showing the Arduino, buzzer, and a closer view of the bracket holding the rangefinders

Below is the code I used for the Arduino. A brief description of operations: the loop() function tells the servo to pan 0-180° in 5 degree increments, 40ms apart, then repeat in reverse. For each 5° increment, it checks the measured distance with the pingFront() and pingBack() functions. If the recorded distance is less than the limit, the buzzer turns on and the LED turns red. Else, the buzzer stays off and the LED is set to green.

Finally, here's a video of it working. In this example, the limit variable is set to .25 meters (~1 foot) to facilitate testing with my hand.

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