Indian-origin girl in the US invents COVID-19 cap for social distancing
By Vivek Raj | Galatta | Aug 27, 2020, 06:30 pm
Life, as we know it, has taken a serious turn due to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, with governments and health agencies world over informing people to adhere to protocols such as using hand sanitisers, wearing face shield, mask and gloves and adopting social distancing to stay safe from the invisible virus. In that light, a 15-year-old Indian-origin girl in the US, Neha Shukla, has invented a cap that ensures social distancing. Having applied to the 'Girls With Impact' programme in the US that teaches entrepreneurial skills to young girls, she came up with an invention, while sitting in her house.
Speaking about her invention, Shukla said she felt people's lives could be compromised due to a careless mistake and not following social distancing correctly. She told that she wanted to do something on her part about the COVID-19 situation and decided to create a social distancing device that would make use of ultrasonic sensors and microprocessors that would detect a person coming in range of the six-feet distance and drop an alert through beeps and vibrations.
Shukla further delved into the mechanics of the cap and said it would beep and vibrate if anyone were to break through the six-feet perimetre. She says that it includes a microprocessor-based device that is inserted in a hat and the programme and the microprocessor trigger an alert whenever someone crosses that six feet range.
She added that the cap has an ultrasonic sensor, a microprocessor, a buzzer and a nine-volt battery on the inside. She has coded a programme that stimulates the ultrasonic sensor to send out pulses (ultrasonic waves). When the waves come in collision with a person in that six-feet range, this raw data calculation is converted to a system that it would recognize and hence alert the user.
Born and brought up in the United States, Shukla began work on the project in April and developed a working prototype by June. Currently engaged in making improvements to the device's design, she is working on making it easier to wear. She has also said that she is developing a Bluetooth app that will notify users’ phones and allow them to keep track of that history. Featured in The New York Times and on the Nasdaq screen last month, Shukla's LinkedIn profile bio describes her as a student, innovator, researcher and writer.