With the unprecedented crisis that the COVID-19 pandemic has steered the world into, it is time for us, engineers, to put our brain and skills to use, for the welfare of mankind. Daily reports of the disheartening number of casualties and the number of people being inflicted with this, in addition to the fear of an underlying and impending social, economic and biological catastrophe loom great fear in the minds of everyone. The current situation appears to pose a threat to our existence as we know it, and is redefining our perspective on life and the way we function. The gravity of this situation, thus calls for a dire need to find novel solutions, to fight against the novel coronavirus.
What it does
Given the current situation, we feel that there is more need to eliminate the threat of the potential presence of a virus in our surrounding, in addition to maintaining social distancing. In these lines, we intend to use a UV light-emitting glove which can be used to conveniently disinfect any object, by the use of UV light. It has been established by various studies, that particular wavelength of UV light, with particular energy, can be safely used to disinfect objects, posing no harm to humans. With almost all the countries of the world under lockdown, the chances of transmission of the virus through human-human contact are less. However, essential supplies like groceries, medicines, and other daily use items such as currency notes, newspapers, etc. are still potential breeding grounds for the virus, and the n-CoV has very good sustenance even outside the human body, lasting up to a few days on some surfaces. Hence, this method of UV based sterilisation through a glove can be used to conveniently disinfect daily use objects, which pass through a lot of hands, in the process of production, packaging, supply and delivery.
How we built it
This is a very simple and easy to build concept. We have made a circuit with an Arduino and a few LEDs which we had. Although we did not readily have UV LEDs, and couldn't procure them due to the lockdown conditions, our research indicated that UV LEDs of dimensions similar to those which we have used are commercially available, and can be mounted in the way we have, on UV protective gloves, so that hand wearing that glove is not exposed to the UV light.
Challenges we ran into
Most of the challenges were pertinent to procuring the necessary components. The basic glove UV system was made and then we tried to progress towards adding motion-sensing capabilities to it, i.e. to make the UV light switch on or off based on the motion of the hand wearing it.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
The idea we have come up with pretty simple and hassle-free. It has a huge requirement/demand as the current sanitization methods cannot be used with most of the objects, and even on a moderately large scale. The solution we propose possesses the ease of use, convenience of scalability and adaptability to any kind of surfaces.
What we learned
Our learning began with the mechanism involved in the neutralization of microbes with UV light- the RNA interaction with UV light, etc. We further learned that particular wavelength and energy of UV light can be used against microbes, while being safe to humans. In addition, we have also come across the usage of UV protective gloves and it's functioning. We have learned that even for large and formidable problems, there often exist potential viable solutions, which are simple and effective
What's next for Kanthi Coro Anth
We intend to augment additional capabilities such as gesture-based on/off controls for the UV light, and IR based temperature detection as well so that the use of this glove can be extended to preliminary testing of humans as well. In addition, as we have made the current prototype with only the components we currently had, it remains to procure the required UV light LEDs and make the prototype which would be more close to reality.