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Conceptual Design: COVID PPE

Striving for a better protection

People wearing masks as a precaution against the COVID-19 illness walk inside a subway station during rush hour in Hong Kong, Wednesday, March 11, 2020.(AP)


"Analyze potential situations associated with the massive reopening of businesses worldwide after the COVID lockdowns, and identify opportunities to limit the spread of the disease through the design of new personal protective equipment (PPE) for the general public."

COVID-19 has caused a tremendous impact on the world, in terms of public health and economy. While the number of cases are steadily decreasing, the urge from civilians to reopen the economy intensifies because some of them are not able to survive with the absence of income. With more businesses that begin to reopen, outdoor activity will increase, which can potentially cause resurgence in number of infection cases. 

While it is necessary for the economy to keep circulating, designing a personal protective equipment can help mitigate the risk of getting infected. 

Potential Problems: The Big Picture & Specific Task

The goal of this project is to initialize a conceptual design of a personal protection equipment (PPE), for which the spread of the disease can be limited. In other words, there is an urge to create a potential design that can protect not only front line workers, but also other individuals who are in need to reopen their businesses. In order to create solutions, however, we need to search for potential problems that may arise from reopening businesses. These problems may include:

  • Delivery service - according to WebMD, the virus can survive on a surface that is made of card-box for 24 hours. Meaning, this box can be a potential source of infection if brought inside and not disinfected. 

  • Shopping Malls - will potentially packed with customers as businesses begin to reopen. As these customers pass by an entrance door. In addition, WebMD estimates that the virus can survive on metal objects, especially door knobs for up to 5 days. 

  • Public places - such as parks, and sidewalks. As more people begin to start their outdoor activities, there are chances that public places will be much more crowded. As a result, it might be more difficult to keep a distance from each other.

Thought & Design Process

After the problems have been identified, we can proceed to the next step where ideas can be brainstormed for each problem. For instance:

  • To improve the sanitation of the delivery box, a can be created that the box can be sanitized before taken into the house.

  • Having an additional handle bar that can be a substitute to the main handle bar that pulled by hand. Since our feet are already covered with shoes, we do not need to worry about having a contact with non-sterile public objects such as door handle bar. 

  • Lastly, a headlamp-like device is created and will be worn on the hip. However, unlike regular headlamps, this device can be used both during daylight which uses laser beam, and nighttime with LED beam. This is beneficial to pedestrian not only as a lighting device, but it is design that the beam is illuminated at a desired distance from the user. This will help them to stay away from each other.

Detailed Sketches of LED BEAM BELT

Belt - Main Sketch
Top View
"How to Wear" Sketch
Laser and LED beam
Belt Device

Sketches of Door Handle and Box sanitizer

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Results & Evaluation

Finally, as part of the deliverables of this project, one idea must be chosen to create its prototype. Because of that, I personally favor LED beam belt, especially due to its multipurpose.

In general, this idea incorporates a projector and a headlamp. The LED light  does not only function to measure distance, but it also assists the user when walking in dark areas. With this feature, I think that this is very useful particularly for runners and joggers who exercise in the evening or perhaps late at night where there are few lights. Further improvements include power management to optimize the power generation form the battery to generate these lights. 

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