Open Source Social Distancing Meter

An open source solution to social distancing that uses inexpensive parts and uncomplicated code.

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By interfacing a HC-SR04 ultrasonic sensor and an LED traffic light with an Arduino Uno I was able to create a portable social distancing meter that will help you and the people around you keep their distance during the pandemic.

I created this project to make an open source solution to the social distancing problem. It only contains four items and is totally portable. The 9V battery can be easily replaced as needed and with a clear user interface no one will misunderstand what the lights mean.

The way the code is currently set-up there are three modes. Closer than six feet to the sensor is a red light, six to eight feet is a yellow light, eight feet and beyond is a green light. It is also lightweight and unobtrusive so it can be taken anywhere.


Arduino sketch to run the project

ino - 1.21 kB - 05/11/2020 at 17:50


  • 1 × HC-SR04 An inexpensive ultrasonic sensor compatible with Arduino and Raspberry Pi.
  • 1 × MakerHawk 5V Mini Traffic Light LED Display Module Red Yellow Green 5mm
  • 1 × Arduino Uno
  • 1 × 9V Battery
  • 1 × Battery Snap

View all 7 components

  • Completing the Project

    jordanbrandes05/11/2020 at 17:59 0 comments

    The hardest part of building this was the case. I originally intended it to go into an Altoids tin but that became way too complex. I eventually found an old lanyard from a convention I attended and cut out holes in the plastic for the Uno GPIO holes. That worked very well.

View project log

  • 1
    Connect HC-SR04 to Arduino Uno
    • VCC to 5V
    • GND to GND
    • Trig to pin 2
    • Echo to pin 3
  • 2
    Connect LED to Arduino Uno
    • GND to GND
    • VCC to 5V
    • Red = 8
    • Yellow = 9
    • Green = 10
  • 3
    Load Program

    Do this in the Arduino IDE

View all 6 instructions

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Dan Maloney wrote 05/11/2020 at 18:41 point

Nice that it's in wearable form, could be good for conferences. If we're ever allowed to go to them again, that is :-(

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