an open-source idea from NASA to help us in our “post-coronavirus” habits

One of the first indications that was said with the first (and late) measures against the pandemic of the coronavirus was that of do not touch your face with your hands, something that perhaps we did (or do) a lot without even realizing it. Thinking precisely of those most difficult cases, although with a fairly techie, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory (JPL) they had the idea that we can build our own wereable so as not to touch our faces, called PULSE.

It is a small device whose chassis can be printed in 3D and which basically it warns us with a vibration when it detects that we are going to touch our faces. Something simple that obviously is not intended to replace masks, gels and other habits such as frequent handwashing, but that can be helpful if we have this habit and if projects are also going DIY.


A simple and Pavlovian idea

It is something as basic as what we have described: a pendant that can warn us when our hands go towards the face, in true style classical Pavlov conditioning. Perhaps it may seem trivial to us, but not a few people who after those first recommendations not to touch their faces realized how much is done involuntarily during the day (yes, among them who writes to you).

Thus, three researchers at NASA JPL left rockets and physics calculations for a moment to think something simple, cheap and open source who could be of help to this matter whether at home or at work. The project is quite simple if we want to try to build it from all directions shared on GitHub, both to print the casing and to purchase the components and materials. This is needed to assemble the PULSE (buy links are added to the link to GitHub):

  • An infrared sensor
  • Un transistor PNP
  • A resistance
  • On-off switch
  • A vibration motor
  • Cable and protectors
  • A 3-volt battery and a holder for it
  • Painting
Press Materials All Nasa Jpl
Pulse Components In Jpl

It measures about five centimeters, having to be between 15 and 30 centimeters below the chin. Explain that PULSE begins to vibrate when its wearer’s hand begins to approach the area and that as it gets closer the response is stronger.

Press Open Nasa Jpl

The researchers note and recall that the design has not been supervised or approved by the FDA and that in no case should it be considered as a medical device or disinfection measure. Their goal is to provide help to control contagion regarding this habit of touching their faces, in this case using simple and inexpensive technology.

Images | NASA/JPL-Caltech