Ultimate Social Distance Gadget

Introduction: Ultimate Social Distance Gadget

I don't think it's necessary to introduce the global situation we are currently living.

First off all, kind of a DISCLAIMER, English is not my first language, mistakes will be made. Secondly I am not a health professional and my knowledge of the current health measures and their effectiveness is very limited if not null and this guide wants to avoid any posible controversy around the topic...That said, bring the craziness.

Well as you probably have already seen in the video, WE ARE SHOOTING A LASER! And even thats nice by itself you may be wandering, WHY? Well, if you look back to the homemade bad quality image...TO KEEP THEM FAR, that's right, lovers of personal space and introverts of the world, time has come of claiming what is our and show them in a clear way we do have a personal space and how big it's.

Now you (kind of) know what we are doing, let's take a look to the supplies you will most likely need to archive this.


-3D PRINTER (Around of 20g of filament, I used PLA any rigid one will do)

-BASIC TOOLS (Screwdriver and pliers )

-SOLDERING IRON (with some solder tin)


-FLANGES (around 10 it you don't break them unnecessarily like me)


-M3x20mm and nut x1

-2mm brass rod (less than 10 cm)


-Cheap laser pointer (They are like 1-2$)

-Famous yellow geared DC motor


- 4 NiMh Batteries and their battery holder

- Some wire


-Old cap (Will be cut so keep that in mind)

ALL THIS COMPONENTS CAN BE CHANGED TO ANY THAT MAKES THE SAME...as you will see the guide is pretty straightforward

Step 1: THE IDEA: Concept

Since everything started some ideas to archive this goal were running through my mind, pretty impossible ones, like wearing a giant ring around you ( good luck with doors ;) ) and similar ones until the I realized the laser was perfect for this job, it can mark something away from you without interfering your movement.


Images 1 and 2...so yeah, with my amazing drawing skills you can see that The idea is to build a hat, by mounting in an already existing cap our gadget.

Images 3 and 4, we create a gadget that shoots a laser, sadly that's only a point, BUT if we spin it around our head...we have a circle, nice!

Hopefully people is smart enough to keep out of a laser shooting circle...hopefully

Step 2: THE IDEA: Real Life Plan

Okay so we are going to use 4 NiMH batteries at 1,2 each we have around 4,8V ... good enough for our 5V yellow motor

We will build a platform mounted to the motor that spins around creating the circle (Image 2) BUT we ran into our first problem, we need to angle the laser to achieve the circle radius AND... not everyone has the same heigh.

After some thoughts, we have 2 clear options, Adjust people or adjust the laser, and choosing between a lot of people or 1 laser, yup we choose the laser. So when we design we have to remember to add someway to change the angle of the laser beam, everything else seems right. We have the motor, fix to our cap and it rotates the 3d printed piece that holds the laser and it's able to adjust its angle, nice!


After some tinkering in autocad (vid 1), paper would do but you have already seen my drawing skills. So by drawing all the ideas, all the beams for the different heights (by the way, I am considering from 1,5 m to 2m, most population is represented)

Finally I decided to create a kind of lever design that does the following, by changing the height 1cm in one side it goes from the 2m angle to the 1,5 angle. It's not a lot, but I wanted to keep it small and simple and by adding a screw I could easily move in the 1cm space.

I won't go go in much more details as my way of designing is kind of trial and error (I'm still learning)


Moving to fusion 360 with a clear idea of what we want to design I just started making the idea in 3d, As you can see in the final work here: HERE I made some pieces I changed later and I had some mistakes that had to be changed...but I ended with a promising bunch of pieces


Skipping the 3d printing part as the parameters are pretty much the standard ones you use in your printer.

NOW: Pick up your not very loved cap and cut the front part as showed, easy, PART 1 done! Was it hard?

Keep it near for later :)


You will need the laser, superglue, flanges and the 3d printed pieces:

In the 3d printed pieces image you can se their ID numbers.

Put the laser in the shown piece [1] and fix the to the flange.

Pick the next piece[2] and using superglue attach to [1] as shown


Take the shown pieces and introduce the bottom one in the upper one as shown, apply some superglue to fix it.

Cut around 7mm of 2mm brass rod and fix the in the previous step piece as shown, apply some superglue and wait until it's fix, if it's not properly fixed, add some paper around the rod, 1 or 2 layers apply the glue and try again.

Finally using the rods as pivots join the laser module with the base


Sand a bit the screw show you can insert it in the piece (image 2) as shown and it moves freely.

Insert the nut in the base and glue it.

Prepare a 1.5 cm rod and you may need to apply the paper trick so everything fits better.

Screw the part and into the nut and introduce the rod as shown, bend it show it can't scape its place. (I screwed up with the glue , no pun intended and had to break to put another nut, but it keeps working)


Introduce the intermediate piece between the motor and base and later attach the motor and base.(Image1)

Attach the second piece in the oposite part of the motor, you may want to fix it with a screw, the motor has a rind for screws and the piece is prepared for that option, if not, use flanges (Image 2)

CONGRATULATIONS, you hace build the biggest part, you are almost done :)


Remember, I told you you were going to need the cap again, it's now.

Place the module in vertical position relative to the cap, and attach as many flanges as you see are needed until the cap and module are fixed.

You can pick the pliers and make holes in the cap for the flanges


Easy wiring to do, from the battery holder (-) to one pole of the motor, the battery holder (+) to the switch and from the switch to the other pole of the motor, DONE !

We are keeping the laser on its own for 2 reasons:

- If it works, don't open it if you don't want to break it (I broke 2 laser in the process of making this)

- The wire would roll up wit the motor spinning and the solution is much harder than pressing the laser ON switch every time and later the motor switch

IT'S DONE!!!!!!!!!!

In the video I'm using a pillow as a head simulation, it works as plan, and you can adjust the distance by using the screw, that's all :)

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    2 years ago

    Good job. Like how the light goes round and round. Cats might especially like it :-).
    You could have a simplified version by taping 6 lasers to a hat. They could be adjusted for the height of the person by adjusting where they are positioned on the curve of the hat. If 6 lasers were used, when the person moves their head slightly left and right the laser beams arcs might achieve a similar effect to a laser whizzing around on top (though not as spectacularly).
    See prototype photo with just 1 laser attached.

    In a similar way some forklifts use lights to caution people from getting too close. Here's an extract from:

    'Blue spotlights mounted on the front and/or rear of the lift truck alert pedestrians when a forklift is nearby, and how fast it’s approaching. The lights project a bright blue light about 8 feet in front of or behind the forklift, depending on where the light is mounted.'

    Lights were also used in the Dam Buster mission in the 2nd World War to determine height, as described in:

    'The idea was that there would be two Aldis lights mounted on the nose and midships under the bomber. They would both shine a narrow beam spotlight downwards and off to the right of the aircraft. The two beams would meet at an exact point 60 feet below (and to the side of) the aircraft.'


    Reply 2 years ago

    Thanks for your reply!
    Well, I know it's not the best approach but I really wanted to have it rotating, it seemed way cooler.
    Although I had the idea a while ago I realized this contest was the perfect excuse for making it when there were only 2 days left, so I was in a hurry.
    Maybe I will create V2 as while making it I had extra ideas.

    Thanks for your links, loved the WWII one, I had no idea about that !


    Reply 2 years ago

    Rotating is way cooler. Keep up the good work!