[Technological Advances in Disease Prevention] Robots & Sanitizer Dispenser

by Shu-Yu Liu

As COVID-19 continues to spread, Makers also join the force in combating the disease.

Calculation for venue capacity

Jun-Jer You, a Maker from Taiwan uses social distance app, coupled with Arduino 320, to calculate the number of people allowed in a certain venue. You uses NodeMCU-32S (ESP32) by AI-Thinker to write programs, where he searched for Bluetooth device to be matched, before he verified that the Universally Unique Identifier (UUID) is compatible to the social distance app. Next, You checked the Received Signal Strength Indication (RSSI) to determine the signal and the distance. After that, the Mac address is input to calculate the total number of people, which will be uploaded to ThingSpeak to produce data graphs. When the number of people exceeds the capacity restriction, a Line message will be sent to the administrator via ThingHTTP.

Gesture-controlled faucet

Many people worry that the disease will spread through contacts with objects. Based on this idea, Xin Chen, a senior from the Dept. of Art & Design of Yuan Ze University, develops a gesture-controlled faucet. Users only need to wave their hands in front of the sensor to start and stop the water, where there are 3 levels of volume control. The production cost is around NTD$1,000 to 1,500.

Mask bracket for pressure relief by NCKU

Maker Factory at National Cheng Kung University (NCKU) uses 3D-printing to produce thousands of mask brackets for pressure relief, which are distributed to nearly 40 hospitals or medical units across Taiwan. This accessory is designed to help the medical professional who suffer from the discomfort of wearing surgical masks for a long time. The Maker Factory collects draft designs from other countries, improve them, and produce models for medical professionals to try out first. Based on the users’ feedback, more revisions can be made to improve the products.

Pressure-relieving bracket for masks by NCKU

Hand sanitizer dispensers powered by solar energy & Assisting robots

Makers of all ages, including those in junior high and senior high schools are all devoted to inventing devices that facilitate disease prevention. In 2020, Chiayi City Government held a Maker Spirit Game featuring disease prevention. Mystery, a team from National Beimen Senior High School in Tainan, won the championship with their solar-powered hand sanitizer dispensers. Using solar energy as a source of electricity, the dispenser is equipped with thin-film solar panels that allows energy generation even on cloud days. There are ultrasonic sensors that can detect hand proximity to automatically spray alcohol hand sanitizer, followed by a bit of lotion for skin care!

In addition, Just Maker, a team from Chiayi Municipal Pei Shin Public Junior High School, invented Justmake- an assisting robot. Justmake features infrared body temperature sensing that can also work for identity recognition, alcohol hand sanitizer dispensing, screen display for interactions. There is even a camera for remote control. Justmake is capable of delivering meals and daily necessities from door to door, upload user information, and even sends out notifications via LINE to report emergencies.

Solar-powered hand sanitizer dispenser & the award-winning team