Social Distancinator

A social distancing hat that triggers an audio and visual alarm when it detects a person within 6 feet. Utilises LiDar, ultrasonic sensors, an accelerometer, and an Arduino to identify people via relative velocity.

COVID Safety Hat

A hat that reinforces social distancing practices by triggering an audio and visual alarm when a person is within 6 feet of the wearer. Must be able to distinguish humans in a crowded environment like a grocery store. Budget = $60. Time = 8 weeks.

How it Works

The 3 axis accelerometer determines if the wearer is standing still or in motion, based on the vertical motion of the hat. When standing still the front facing LiDar and array of ultrasonic sensors provide 360 degrees of motion detection and if it's within 6 feet, the alarm is triggered. When the wearer is moving, the front facing LiDar provides relative velocity measurements in front of the user. If an object is detected with a relative closing velocity of 1-2x the average human walking speed, it is identified as a person and the alarm is triggered if they also come within 6 feet. This solution allows the wearer to walk around in a crowded indoor environment without false positives, but be alerted to a person approaching from any direction when they are standing still.

Design Process

Main areas of testing were distance calibrations of the sensors, human walking pace tests, noise and brightness of the alarm, and sensor angle of depression. The first prototype was a hat with just ultrasonic sensors spaced in a circle, then the second was a hat with just the forward facing LiDar. The final prototype incorporated ultrasonic sensors, LiDar, the accelerometer, and the final iteration of the algorithm.

Final Product

The final product iterated upon the previous versions with an enclosure, a more visible alarm light, battery power and a switch. Upon testing, it worked successfully identifying humans in a crowded environment with a low number of false positives.

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