LPU Researchers develop ‘KAWACH’; an IoT device for safe Social Distancing

New Delhi: In the wake of Covid-19, Prabin Kumar Das, a B Tech student (Electronics Communication and Engineering) at Lovely Professional University (LPU) along with his professors has developed an IoT device called ‘KAWACH’ to promote safe social distancing. The device, which can be worn as a pendant, vibrates and glows in case someone breaches the user’s safe space of 1 metre. Not only that, the device is equipped with a handwash reminder that beeps every 30 minutes to remind the user to wash his or her hands, as well as a temperature sensor that alerts them via an SMS in case their body temperature crosses the prescribed limit. The research team has successfully conducted KAWACH’s pilot testing among the staff members at LPU. It is now looking for the right manufacturing partners for its commercialisation.

According to the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare, social distancing is a non-pharmaceutical infection prevention and control intervention implemented to avoid/decrease contact between those who are infected with a disease-causing pathogen and those who are not, so as to stop or slow down the rate and extent of disease transmission in a community. This eventually leads to decrease in spread, morbidity and mortality due to the disease. The World Health Organisation (WHO) has recommended a minimum 1 metre distance between oneself and anyone who is coughing or sneezing. KAWACH has been designed to help people adhere to this guideline.

KAWACH is a low cost and easy to carry device that comprises of an LED, Vibrator, Controller, Battery, Human Body Temperature Sensor, Ultrasonic Sensor, Switch and a Storage Card. Along with Praveen, the team of professors that worked on the project include Dr. Lovi Raj Gupta, Executive Dean of Science and Technology, Dr. Rajesh Singh, Professor, School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering, Dr. Anita Gehlot, Associate Professor, School of Electronics and Electrical Engineering and Dr. Varun Panwar, Assistant Professor, School of Mechanical Engineering.

Dr. Lovi Raj Gupta, Executive Dean of Science and Technology, Lovely Professional University says, “While the whole world is grappling to find a vaccine for Covid-19, ‘KAWACH’ is our effort to contain the spread of this deadly virus. As the honourable Prime Minister has mentioned, social distancing and avoiding physical contact are keys to staying safe today. KAWACH enables one to achieve just that by warning people in case their safe space is breached. Additionally, it also offers a handwash reminder, a very handy tool in these times. We have already tested it internally and are now looking for the right partners to commercialise it.”