NASA has designed a ventilator to help treat coronavirus patients and now the American space agency is helping those without the virus stay healthy.
The Jet Propulsion Lab designed a 3D printable necklace that vibrates, or omits a pulse, when the wear’s hands are too close to their face.
Called PULSE, the device uses an infrared proximity sensory with up to 12 inches of range and once motion is detected, a small vibration motor inside is activated.
The technology is a response to how often individuals touch their eyes, mouth and nose – all pathways for the coronavirus to enter the body.
The coronavirus began in China last year and has since spread to nearly every country across the globe.
It is a respiratory illness that can cause fever, cough and shortness of breath.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has released a list of recommendations to help stop the virus from spreading, one being to avoid touching your face.
‘Until a reliable vaccine is made available, PULSE can be seamlessly integrated into our everyday life as we return to our workplace,’ NASA’s Jet Propulsion Lab (JPL) shared in a statement.
‘Designed to be reproduced by anyone with simple maker skills, this low-cost, wearable device can help stop the spread of infection and keep us healthy.’
The group also notes that this device is not made to take the place of masks or respirators, but is toe be used ‘side-by-side with existing efforts.’
JPL has made the files and assembly instructions available on line as Open Source for those looking to build their own device.
‘Ideally, we expect the public to further develop this concept and make it easily available for distribution,’ writes JPL.
PULSE is a small device work around the neck, equip with an infrared sensor to determine where the person’s hands are positioned.
A coin-sized vibration motor is placed in the plastic casing, along with a 3V battery and holder.
The pendant is worn six to 12 inches below the chin and attached to an 18 to 24 inch necklace.
Once motion is detected, a vibration motor is triggered. The closer the moving object is to the sensor, the stronger the vibration.
‘The electronics are housed by a 3D printed case. Since the IR sensor has a built-in LED output, we printed using transparent material for the initial prototype,’ JPL explained.
‘Other colors and pendant designs can be used. Our CAD model was designed to securely hold each technical component in place making it a reliable architecture with easy assembly.’