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Social Distance Sensor Badge Worth the Bother? — Parallax Forums

Social Distance Sensor Badge Worth the Bother?

I was considering the idea of a personal sensor to warn people that they are physically too close within the recommended distance. It seems some people just don't get it, and an a visual/ audible warning might wake them up. But with my limited, lets say robotic knowledge, the cost of such a device is not practical. I would think a pid (infrared) sensor would be required first to detect a human presence, then something like a proximity sensor would be activated and read for distance( possibly a ping ) while the pid sensor is activated. Once the lower limit of the program on micro has been met for distance, a flashing led and audible signal would be activated. Thus the warning signal being directed at said person within the limit. Of course this would only work in the direction the sensor is directed towards.
So in conclusion it is probably not going to be cost effective enough to make into an actual for sale product. ( not me, possibly someone else? )

Possibly some other experienced people here might have some better practical ideas.

Anyway getting bored, thought it would be interesting discussion.


  • You never know what gadget could become handy
  • You might want to look at Hackable badge propeller
  • I'll just point-out that having a pit-bull as a "therapy dog" tends to help on the distancing front. :)
  • Use the Parallax laserping to prototype it quickly and test whether people might want it.

    The laserping has about the right range and is good for detecting people.

    I have a friend who has a flexible 32*32 led matrix on the front of his t-shirt. It came from some soccer game promotional kickstarter or something. Anyway you could use such a thing to display the distance to people in front and either side, and change the color to red where the distance is too small.

    If it all goes well you can buy the sensors and make your own integrated version
  • There is always this:

    Honestly, a simple gadget might catch on. Will be interesting to see what you come up with.
  • Adding LaserPing is super easy, as the BadgeWX has some expansion pads on the left side, included in which are three in the right sequence for the Ping or LaserPing module (Gnd-BATT-P27).

    Maybe solder a right-angle header to those pads, and then use a standard servo cable to attach the sensor.

    Caveat: The BadgeWX battery pack provides nominal 4.5V. Whilst LaserPing runs from 3.3V to 5V, the original Ping requires 5V to operate for optimal results, but in your application the resolution may not be so important and running from the 4.5V battery pack could provide reasonable results. Something to experiment with!
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,895
    IMHO Colin Furze cracked that code in 2018. Jump to 8:00.

  • HA! Good stuff, a little humor never hurts in times like this. A pitbull would be good, but not allowed around here, so maybe a pet skunk would be a great deterrent.

    Woven in leds would work, i can think of a few good messages to display to attract attention.

    Guy wearing the big ring is good idea, he should paint some different colors on it to look like Saturn.
    Alas though, if this whole thing keeps going for some time and i don't get off my butt a little more, i could look like that without the getup.

    Guy that made the human food processor wins the prize, though it didn't look good when he cut himself taking out blow up doll.

    Thinking maybe a good old cattle prod should do the trick, although might wind up in jail.

    Seriously the badge wx add on looks like a good idea, will take a look for sure.

    In the meantime i will be working on other project, using toilet paper to power my house. And i hear its good done on the bbq too.

  • Welcome. I love the idea. If you need a skunk I know a guy ; )
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,895
    xanadu wrote: »
    Welcome. I love the idea. If you need a skunk I know a guy ; )

    ... asking for a friend... :)

  • frank freedmanfrank freedman Posts: 1,826
    edited 2020-04-16 04:12
  • The low-tech version...
  • kwinnkwinn Posts: 8,688
    edited 2020-04-17 16:51
    LOL, throw on some motors, batteries, propellers and a controller (P2 of course) to travel in style.
  • ercoerco Posts: 19,895
    Paul Moller beat you to it. Or did he?

    500 x 341 - 41K
  • Beau SchwabeBeau Schwabe Posts: 6,460
    edited 2020-04-19 19:28
    Referencing the man in the cardboard donut, capacitive sensing might work (albeit you might have several false triggers) .

    Here is a differential sensor I am currently working on to sense a fluid level "fill line" ... scale that up a bit where the wearer is literally one capacitor plate "the reference capacitor" and anyone (or thing) approaching is the other capacitor plate.

    Proof of concept video:

    In the video, the two wires are essentially the capacitors... this is a proof of concept test for a differential capacitor concept. The reason for using two capacitors this way is that you can negate any common mode noise. This allows for greater sensitivity.
  • They are selling your idea it's called the Pathfinder social distance beeper
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