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ESP8266-based Wearable Corona Distance Monitor

Reporting from Shanghai, China
Mar 31, 2020

An ESP8266-based, distance monitor can help you properly maintain the official guidelines for social distancing during the COVID-19 crisis.

Since the beginning of the COVID-19 outbreak, the World Health Organization (WHO) has issued a number of basic protective measures against the new coronavirus. Along with practising meticulous personal hygiene and wearing a mask as appropriate, one important piece of advice from the WHO experts has been to maintain social distancing. This has been specified as keeping a distance of at least one meter (three feet) between yourself and other people, especially those who are coughing or sneezing.

In line with the latter piece of advice, Sahil Rastogi and his team at Random Stuff We Make! (RSWM!) in Delhi, India, have come up with a gadget that can help people properly implement the WHO guidelines about social distancing.

In general, the RSWM! team comprises engineers and makers in Delhi, India, who try to bring “fiction to reality” through projects that are interactive, creative and truly simple in terms of making. The team focuses on 3D printing, Arduino, embedded electronics, RGB lights, Interactive Installations, Robotics, app development, product design. Under the current circumstances imposed by the global pandemic, the RSWM! team have put their maker skills to good use, in an effort to help protect fellow humans from contracting the virus by practising social distancing properly.

The gadget that RSWM! created is called “Wearable Corona Distance Monitor”. This simple wearable device changes its color and pitch of sound, whenever a person comes closer than one meter to you.

Hardware components used in this project:

  • 1 x orange 360 mAh 1S 30C/60C Lithium polymer battery Pack (LiPo)
  • 1 x TP4056 1A Li-ion lithium Battery Charging Module with Current Protection – Mini USB
  • 1 x SparkFun Ultrasonic Sensor - HC-SR04
  • 1 x Buzzer
  • 1 x ESP8266-based NodeMCU ESP8266 Breakout Board
  • 1 x Adafruit NeoPixel Ring: WS2812 5050 RGB LED

Software apps and online services:

  • Arduino IDE

Hand tools and fabrication machines:

  • Soldering iron (generic)
  • Hot glue gun (generic)

Schematics

To find the code and all the other details pertaining to this project, click here.

This wearable device, which is predominantly made of the ESP8266-based NODE MCU and an Adafruit NeoPixel Ring, can prove particularly useful during the global COVID-19 pandemic. The changing of the gadget’s colour from green to red, and the buzzing sound will remind you to maintain greater than a one-meter distance from other people.

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