Schoolboy builds LEGO robot to dispense hand sanitiser

A 14-year-old schoolboy has built and programmed a LEGO robot that dispenses hand sanitiser.

Samuel Sanderson, who attends Sherfield School in Basingstoke, UK, used LEGO MINDSTORMS to create the intelligent robot. It’s motion-activated so you don’t need to touch it, and it reduces waste by dispensing exactly the amount of sanitiser required.

According to the Basingstoke Gazette, Sanderson designed the robot after hearing about a similar project at another school.

“I thought it was really cool and so I did some research about it and then created this,” Sanderson told the newspaper. “I’ve done it in my own time, break times, lunch times, after school and at home at the weekends as well.”

The robot uses cameras to detect when someone’s trying to use it, then triggers a motor that dispenses the sanitiser. Better still, it can sense your hands from up to seven centimetres away, totally removing the need for contact. In the current climate, that’s a big plus.

“At Sherfield School and especially within the Design & Technology department we champion innovative problem solving projects like this,” said Ben Marshall, head of Design & Technology at Sherfield School. “Samuel has worked extremely hard to develop the product through research and hours of testing, in order to make it a high quality reliable product.”

The machine now sits in the school’s entrance hall, ready for use by staff and students alike.

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Chris Wharfe

I like to think of myself as a journalist first, LEGO fan second, but we all know that’s not really the case. Journalism does run through my veins, though, like some kind of weird literary blood – the sort that will no doubt one day lead to a stress-induced heart malfunction. It’s like smoking, only worse. Thankfully, I get to write about LEGO until then. You can follow me on Twitter at @brfa_chris.

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