Fall 2020 Design I Final Competition

Section O: Aescula

Problem Statement: How can we mitigate disease spread in semi-public spaces during and post-covid in a non intrusive way?

Team Members: Michael Leoni, Yan Ostanin, Ethan Adam, Evelyn Garcia, and Jack Jones

Instructor: Mirna Mattjik

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1N6DAfAjPq0?feature=youtu]



  1. Hi team,

    I appreciate that you approached the problem from a broader health perspective! Could you please clarify for me:

    -Changes your solution employs that reduced the cost significantly as compared to similar functioning products (in part)
    -Considerations for people who are color-blind and may not distinguish between red and green
    -How your design ensures that the wrist is in place long enough for a temperature scan


    • A considerable solution for someone who is colorblind is to implement a checkmark for the green light and an X for the red light to be shown on the display screen.

    • For question 1, The product is cheap mainly because we minimized its features and the price is listed just on the cost to make the product. This is mainly because we didn’t need a face scan, a high tier infrared camera and a coding board that other products use. If it is to be marketed, the cost after would still be a much better price than alternative products. Lastly, we don’t want it to be over priced and expensive.
      For question 3, we implemented a code for the device to stall the hand sanitizer to dispense once the temperature has been recorded and sent to the display screen. This is all done within 2 seconds.
      Thank you for your feedback and questions!

  2. Thanks for introducing your technology.
    I like the 2-in-1 nature of the design, and the fact that you are implicitly informing people how to use the device by having them do an activity that is already familiar to them (reaching for hand sanitizer).
    Two questions:
    1) The problem of running out of hand sanitizer – With this device, it seems like “success” looks like holding your hand out long enough to get a reading and to get a dispensation of hand sanitizer. However, these outcomes may likely be decoupled, as hand sanitization stations notoriously run out of hand sanitizer. It would be really helpful if your device could indicate level of hand sanitizing liquid to make it easy for someone to refill, or to indicate to the user not to expect to receive a squirt of the gel.
    2) The problem of a different temperature scale for wrist temp – A concern with the device is that there is no user education that the scale of the wrist temperature measurements varies so greatly from forehead temperature. Reporting an output of “82F” as normal when users are used to “98F” could cause potential concern if the user then becomes worried that they are hypothermic, or if they don’t believe the fever light because the temperature reported is < 98F. I would recommend a simple binary output “fever” vs. “no fever”. Could you explain why you are choosing to include the digital readout?

    • Hello Stephanie! Thank you for your comments!

      1. We hadn’t actually thought of a way to indicate the levels of the hand sanitizer in the dispenser. Looking at soap dispensers and other hand sanitizer dispensers on the market, an external viewport is used so the hand sanitizer vessel can be viewed. Our current pump system is situated on the right side of the device, so a simple transparent plastic viewport on the right wall of the device would solve that problem in future iterations! The window could also be placed on a doorway for replacing the hand sanitizer, another feature that we’ve not implemented yet.

      2. The digital readout was partially for our own diagnostic purposes, and partially for further user information. We used the digital readout to make sure that the thermometer was positioned properly, and that the timing between measurement and hand sanitizer dispensing was correct. If that were the only reason it wouldn’t be in the final device. We also believed that users would like to have the information about their own temperature, even if they don’t understand the difference between a wrist temperature and a body temperature, making the light seem less arbitrary.

      Thank you Again!

  3. The best place for your product could be entering a grocery store-nice idea!

    A few questions:

    1) Were you able to test the angle variability of the wrist as people place their hands under the device? Does this impact the reading?

    2) Does hand size impact the sensor range?

    3) What is the overall accuracy of the temperature reading?

    4) Do you think people will turn around and leave the store or restaurant or building if they show a temperature?

    I look forward to your response.

    • Thank you for your question.

      1. We were not able to test the angle variability of the wrist, however from manufacturer specifications the angle of the wrist would not affect the temperature as long as it is still within the effective maximum distance of 10 cm.

      2. Hand size does not affect the PIR sensor as it passively reads changes in infrared radiation within the environment. As for the temperature sensor, the angle of the sensor allows for all hand sizes to have the same range of temperature scan. The most effective angle for sensor is 40 degrees, with a maximum distance of 10cm.

      3. According Melexis, the temperature sensor has an accuracy of about half a degree Celsius. Upon testing we had a temperature gun to validate the temperature reading of the device, and saw an accuracy of about one degree Celsius.

      4. This is not easy to answer as it is up to users’ and/or customers’ discretion as we created a tool to help increase public health awareness. For example a store can have a sign above the device instructing people on what to do in the instance of a fever.

      Thank you again for your question and feedback.

      • Thank you for your responses. I realize you cannot answer #4-just wanted your perspective.

        Follow up question… were you actually able to test your device? If so, can you give me a brief step by step of how this was accomplished?

        • We tested Aesuela a multiple times with multiple participants to get a variety of readings and then validate the temperature reading through a thermal gun. Upon testing we realized a couple of issues with the device, all of which we resolved. The initial issue was due to an oversensitive PIR sensor reading a large FOV, causing people walking past to trip the sensor. In order to resolve this, we restricted the FOV of the sensor by adding 3D printed plastic rings. We also realized that the angle of the temperature sensor was not ideal and caused the user to cup their hand, so we increased the angle of the sesor to resolve this issue.

        • Good follow up. Helps me understand your conclusions.

  4. Hello Team,
    Interesting idea.
    Few questions:
    1. How do you make sure the place of reading for the wrist is consistent among all the stakeholders?
    2. Since this is a self reading process, how it will be enforced? Who will monitor the readings?
    3.Is there a plan for maintenance/calibration? How often, and how is it determined?

    Thank you, Dr. H

    • Hello Dr.H,
      Thank you for your question

      The motion sensor is located at the very back and will only be triggered once the hand is in the optimal position for the hand sanitizer dispenser and for the IR sensor. Additionally, the Arduino is programmed so that the motion sensor will only be triggered once the IR sensor is reading above room temperature.

      Aescula is more of a tool than a process. In that sense, we can’t say how someone will use a hammer, we can only guess. The goal of the Aescula device wasn’t fully to enforce covid protocol, it was to provide an easier way for individuals and businesses to prevent the spread of various diseases. Because of that enforcement is up to the discretion of the establishment who uses the device. If, In a post-Covid world, an establishment chooses to prevent individuals with a fever from entering the building, then an attendant would be required. If the establishment says anyone with a fever needs to wear a mask, a sign can be placed with a set of disposable masks by the door.
      We saw the freedom for the establishment to exert it’s own discretion as an important means to the device’s long term application, the key value to our design.

      We estimate the battery life of our device to be several years, but the hand sanitizer will be the limiting factor in the longevity of the device. Since fundamentally Aescula is similar to a usual automatic hand sanitizer dispenser we estimate that its life span would be similar. The IR sensor is capable of reading the ambient temperature the device can be reprogrammed to take into account the surrounding temperature to read fever more accurately.

    • I am sorry, I don’t think I answered your first question in enough detail.
      We did run into an issue with the IR sensor measuring the user’s palm instead of the wrist and forearm. We adjusted the angle of the IR sensor to take the temperature higher up the user’s arm. In order to solve this issue completely, we plan on increasing the depth of the case to bring the temperature sensor more forward. A larger case will also help increase the longevity of the design by allocating more space for the hand sanitizer tank.