KOCHI: Social distancing and sanitising have become commonplace to contain the spread of Covid-19. To ensure and remind people on maintaining a safe distance from each other, the Signal and Telecommunications Department of Thiruvananthapuram division of Southern Railway has come up with an innovative device. The device has been developed by Nidheej R, a junior engineer with the Signal and Telecommunications Department, Thrissur section under the guidance of Dinesh R, senior divisional Signal and Telecommunications engineer at Indian Railways.
This device works on 2.4 GHz radio frequency and includes a trans receiver which is a combination of transmitter and receiver; a microcontroller and lithium batteries. It weighs just 30gm and can be easily carried in a pocket or can be either attached to identity cards or be worn as a watch. However, the device should be used by all the employees at the workplace. When the device senses another person at a distance of two or three meters, it raises an alarm, thereby reminding the person to maintain distance.
“When the lockdown began in March, I had developed a similar social distance ensuring device with a sensor and alarm fitted on the safety helmet used by the Railway open line technical staff. However, the device was not handy and was heavy. The device raised the alarm when it was obstructed by objects such as walls and wasn’t confined to people. So, I thought of making an improved version which is easier to handle and gives the desired results,” said Nidheej.
As a trial, two prototypes of this pocket-sized device have been developed. “I have presented the concept before the officials and will make more devices after further approval,” he adds. The Railways Ministry has also shared a video on the working of the device on their official Twitter handle.