Germ theory has been widely accepted since the late 19thcentury and everyone alive today has grown up with the knowledge that sanitation is important in the fight against communicable disease. We all know that we should be washing our hands after using the restroom, handling raw food, and so on. But it has taken a worldwide pandemic to make us realize just how quickly and easily disease can spread when we’re not careful. With that in mind, a team from the MIT Media Lab developed this open source wearable hand sanitization device that you can build yourself.
To be clear, you don’t need to create a device like this or spend a lot of money to protect yourself from coronavirus or other pathogens. This device doesn’t protect you any more than the liberal and frequent application of hand sanitizer. But it does provide a more convenient means of applying that sanitizer consistently. You can also use the device to disinfect surfaces before you touch them. That’s because this wearable device is capable of spraying sanitizer directly onto your hands or any nearby objects. It can be programmed to provide just-in-time sanitization under different conditions, such as when the user performs a particular gesture.
To assemble your own wearable hand sanitizer dispenser, you’ll need access to a 3D printer and common tools for electronics work, like a soldering iron. If you don’t have a 3D printer handy, you can also use an off-the-shelf bottle. The device is controlled by an Adafruit Circuit Playground Bluefruit board and receives power from a rechargeable LiPo battery through an Adafruit Micro-LiPo charger board. A small pump pulls liquid hand sanitizer from the reservoir and sprays it out from a nozzle near the user’s wrist. The only additional sensor, other than those that are built into the development board, is a time-of-flight laser rangefinder. The GitHub page includes in the code to program the development board through the Arduino IDE.