CHICAGO, April 4, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- element14 (http://www.element-14.com/community/index.jspa), a collaborative social community and electronics store for design engineers and electronics enthusiasts, and modding guru Benjamin J. Heckendorn, a.k.a. Ben Heck, combat the spread of germs in hospitals by modding a hand sanitizer dispenser into a motion detecting reminder system in the latest episode of "The Ben Heck Show" (http://www.element-14.com/community/community/experts/benheck).
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"Automatic hand sanitizer dispensers are great, but how do we know if people actually use them?" asked Ben. "This question, submitted by a viewer, turned into an interesting challenge and resulted in a helpful tool to be used in the arsenal to fight the spread of infection in hospitals."
The idea for the hand sanitizer build came from a show fan and physician, Arun Mathews, who joins Ben to tackle the challenge on the show, building a dispenser featuring enhanced motion sensors to remind hospital staff and patrons to wash their hands with both blinking LEDs and a sound amplifier for optional audible reminders. Ben also integrates a parallax propeller development board and SD card to log motion detected data, and a clock to log the time of hand sanitization compliance or non-compliance.
"This episode offers something for everyone, from electronics enthusiasts to germaphobes," said Alisha Mowbray, senior vice president of marketing, element14. "With his notorious DIY gusto, Ben takes his craft one step further, showcasing how modding a useful item can have a lasting impact in real-life scenarios."
Ben rounds out the episode with some finishing touches on his pinball machine, including installing the screen and ensuring that all three processors - audio, video, and central processing unit - are hooked up and fully functioning.
About "The Ben Heck Show"
"The Ben Heck Show" is a bi-weekly online television series aired in English that's dedicated to the science and art of system and hardware modding with a global audience of design engineers, students and electronic enthusiasts. Sponsored exclusively by element14 (http://www.element-14.com/community/community/experts/benheck), each episode spotlights Ben's mods of popular electronic devices while educating viewers on the underlying technology powering each project.
element14 is sponsored by Premier Farnell plc (LSE: pfl), a leader in multi-channel distribution and specialty services for electronic design engineers, trading throughout the Americas (Newark), Europe (Farnell) and Asia-Pacific (element14).