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LTU student teaches kids to build DIY robotic hand sanitizer dispenser

The number of coronavirus infections continues to increase worldwide. Many companies and inventors are using their creative minds to help solve various problems in this global crisis. Some of these inventions include washable and reusable nano-fiber filtered masks, emergency ventilators made from diving masks, hands-free door openers, and many more.

Now, to make the many precautions demanded by the Coronavirus pandemic a fun and interesting, Joe Schulte has come up with a solution for youthful robot builders. The computer science student at Lawrence Technological University has designed a robot that automatically dispenses hand sanitizer, which took him about two days to design and build.

The robot is a do-it-yourself (DIY) home version of the automatic dispensers, and a fun home activity for any aspiring person interested in robotics. The robotic hand sanitizer dispenser was built out of parts found in Lego’s Mindstorm EV3 robot kit. It is equipped with an infrared distance sensor to know when to provide a squirt of hand sanitizer. “The sensor waits to detect something within a certain threshold to trigger, and then it waits for that thing to leave a certain threshold before resetting to trigger again,” Schulte said.

Also, it is very easy to adjust the cage in the robot to hold any size of sanitizer bottle, since it is built using Lego pieces. Watch the robot in action in the video given below.

Schulte and LTU’s Robofest (worldwide robotics competition) office is teaching children how to create and program robots through an online platform. They have made available a manual to build the robot and the software that runs it.

“I like to do projects that help kids learn robotics,” Schulte said. “That’s my primary goal in helping out with Robofest, helping kids solve problems. With this project, it was a way to tie in robotics with everything else that’s going on.”

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