How this Class VI student's device can help maintain social distancing in public

Hiten Gautam, a student of Modern Public School in Delhi, has developed a gatekeeping device that can monitor entry and exit to a public place
Hiten Gautam | Pic: Modern Public School
Hiten Gautam | Pic: Modern Public School

As the country slowly opens up after a deadly battle with the second wave of COVID-19, some key protocols shouldn't be forgotten. Maintaining a distance of six feet and avoiding the formation of crowds in public places are among the most salient protocols that need to be followed in order to prevent the spread of the virus. To ensure that people are following COVID protocols in public places, like parks, malls and supermarkets, a Class VI student of Modern Public School in Delhi developed a gatekeeping device that can prevent crowding and help maintain social distancing.

The device, which monitors entry and exit, has been developed by Hiten Gautam. "I have used infrared sensors to detect the body heat of people passing. With the help of a few jumper cables and a breadboard, I was able to connect the sensors to an LCD display. The display will help monitor the number of people entering or exiting the premises at any given point in time," says Hiten.

Explaining how the device works, Hiten says, "The device is also equipped with an LED light that glows red when the maximum number of people allowed inside a particular area has been reached. Once some people exit the area, the red bulb goes back off and more people can be allowed to enter then." This, Hiten believes, will automate the procedure of maintaining social distancing and ensure that large gatherings are avoided in public places. "The prototype has been set to a maximum of five people now, but it can be easily altered to fit the COVID protocols of any particular region," says the keen innovator.

The youngster managed to source most of the material through the Atal Tinkering Labs at his school. He purchased the rest from Amazon. "I was helped by my teachers. My father helped me write code for the device. I wrote the code in C++," informs Hiten, who says that he will be applying for a patent for the device. According to Hiten, the device can be installed in parks, banks, malls, among other public places across the country.

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