Best COVID-19 Inspired Maker Projects

COVID-19 took the world by storm. The novel coronavirus ushered in an unprecedented upheaval of society. Businesses shuttered their doors, furloughs were issued, and social distancing became suggested or enforced. But something that nothing can change is the desire to make, as well as creating. Do-it-yourselfers (DIYers) the world around haven't been stopped from their hobbyism. In fact, restrictions on going places means extra time at home that can be spent working on maker projects. Many clever tinkerers have built coronavirus-based DIY items. Although coronavirus isn't ideal, a lot of good can come from any situation, and it's refreshing to see how the maker community has made the best of social distancing by continuing to stay inspired, and invent a variety of devices to address coronavirus. Take a look at the best COVID-19 inspired maker projects!

1. Social Distance Thing

Although social distancing has been suggested, it's tough to truly envision how far apart you'll need to stand. Enter the social distance thing. A simple yet effective project, requiring little more than a fan, mirror, battery, and laser pointer, this DIY project helps you to visualize social distancing. Essentially, a laser projector points at a spinning mirror that's attached to a computer fan and may be placed at any angle. Thus, you can set the size of a circle that's projected around you so fast that it appears like a complete, unbroken circle at all times. Ridiculously easy, incredibly useful, and highly functional, you won't want to leave the house without a social distance visualizer. While you should definitely stay inside and stay safe as much as possible, there are definitely moments when you'll need to head for a walk or grab some essential items. And this laser projector social distancing circle helps you to keep away from others. 

2. The Internet-controlled Coronavirus Slapper

Are you frustrated at coronavirus? Yeah, us too. Well, now you can get your aggression out with a super cool internet-controlled coronavirus slapper! Intended purely for entertainment purposes and injecting a bit of levity into challenging and confusing times. To beat up COVID-19, you'll need to print out the virus. Well, not the real coronavirus, but a 3D printable model of it. Then, 3D print a roll of toilet paper. Warning: please don't try to use this as a TP substitute. For starters, it's not to scale. Plus, filament isn't a toilet tissue that we can in good faith recommend. Attach the 3D printed TP to a servo motor, and you can show coronavirus who is boss. Then, you can brag about, quite literally, beating COVID-19.

3. Micropython Program - Update COVID-19 Data in Real-time

best covid-19 inspired maker projects - micropython real-time covid-19 data

With coronavirus cases being documented, there's a lot of data about the number of confirmed cases. Using MicroPython and a MakePython ESP32 board, you can get access to the latest real-time data at your fingertips. It's really easy, and an excellent means of staying up to date on the current coronavirus situation. Some basic programming knowledge is required, and in no-time you'll be able to track coronavirus and its movements. 

4. Toilet Paper Hoarding Motion-controlled Game - Built with Unity 3D

In a clever example of game development, a Unity3D toilet paper hoarding game debuted. This easy Arduino project lets you play a motion-controlled TP hoarding game. But please don't hoard actual toilet paper. Instead, share and be kind, both now and always. This hilarious coronavirus maker project lets you zip around driving a virtual shopping cart to collect as much toilet tissue as you can. Unfortunately, if your real-world stock of TP gets low, this game won't help you. But if you're stuck inside, it's a great game to play to pass the time. 

5. Sunglasses Arduino-based Face Touching Deterrent - The Sentinel

Not touching your face is pretty difficult. We unconsciously caress our faces multiple times a day, whether to scratch an itch, facepalm at a bad joke, wipe away a bit of food, and any number of reasons. However, with coronavirus spreading like wildfire, it's important to practice excellent hygiene which means refraining from face-touching. If that's a difficult challenge, and I for one have trouble remembering to keep my hands away from my face, then you can build your own Arduino-powered sentinel to guard against face-touching. The sentinel operates by attaching an ultrasonic distance sensor to a pair of glasses. When an object approaches, the wearable Arduino project shines a red warning LED as a signal. It's pretty easy to whip up, and highly useful. 

6. DIY Infrared Thermometer for COVID-19 Using MicroPython

best covid-19 inspired maker projects - diy infrared thermometer

Need to measure temperature automatically and upload that data to the internet to track potential coronavirus cases? This DIY infrared thermometer is MakePython ESP32 and MicroPython-powered. It's a tool you can use to measure the temperature of individuals using an infrared thermometer. Then, you can identify fever cases that may be COVID-19. 

7. Simple Face Touching Avoidance Wearable

If, like me, you're struggling to keep your hands away from your face, then a wearable may help. Hey, the beard requires regular massages, ok? Basic but extremely handy, this face-touching deterrent utilizes a tilt switch-activated buzzer attached to a rubber band. It buzzes when in close proximity to your face. Ingenious in its simplicity, this is a must-make to keep your hands away from your face.  

Best COVID-19 Inspired Maker Projects - Final Thoughts

Despite COVID-19 being a major disruptor to society, makers are going to make no matter what. And rather than discouraging DIYers, coronavirus has inspired hobbyists the world around to fight COVID-19, whether with face-touching avoidance devices, toilet paper hoarding games, coronavirus slappers, or real-time data trackers. There's no shortage of ways to stay busy while remaining indoors

Your turn: what are your favorite coronavirus-inspired maker projects?

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