Local girl creates wearable social distance sensor

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How do you know if you’re exactly six feet apart from someone else? For most it’s just a rough estimate. A local girl has created a device that lets people know if someone comes within a 6 feet range.

Neha Shukla from Mechanicsburg created a social distancing device with the help of Girls with Impact, an online, entrepreneurship training academy, designed specifically for girls.

“They move through all the components of the business plan, and at the end they come out of it with an actual business plan, a venture pitch, and some sort of prototype of their idea,” said Jennifer Openshaw, Girls with Impact CEO.

Neha Shukla is one of those girls and she isn’t letting her age get in the way of innovation.

“It’s really something that’s a continuous process. So it’s not that you know I’m 15 years old and I just thought of this and I just did it. You really have to identify the problem and you really have to care enough about it,” said Shukla.

In fact, the age of those closest to her was the reason she created SixFeetApart.

“My grandparents are at a high risk of getting the virus and I wanted to make sure we as a family were staying safe around them,” said Shukla.

Her creation: a wearable motion sensor that buzzes to let you know if someone has come within six feet.

“This is a micro-processor with a program that I coded myself to convert raw data into distance readings that can be understood by us, as 6 feet or less,” said Shukla.

She says it distinguishes between people and objects pretty well.

“Pretty well because of the ultrasonic sensors, but I also plan on using infrared sensors to better distinguish between people and objects in the future,” said Shukla.

Shukla has already shopped SixFeetApart around to different companies and plans to simplify the design to make it easier to wear.

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