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  • Corrina Chaos Espinosa

Don't Stand So Close To MEEE!! >,<

This one is for people with personal space issues. Have you ever encountered a person at a party, school or the office who just stands way to close to you? It can be brutally uncomfortable. So you take a big step backwards, and what do they do? They take a big step forward... oh the awkward agony. If you say the words, "I have personal space issues.." people may assume the worst! They may think you don't like them, or maybe you don't like yourself, or maybe you're just kind of a dick and don't like anybody! But that's simply not true, you just like to be able to breathe without smelling what they had for lunch, or for them to smell your lunch! You just don't want to see every single pore on their nose and that's ok. It's ok. I've got an invention to save the day!

image by Natalie Dee,

I used a max sonar proximity sensor to detect when someone (or something) is in your personal space bubble. I measured the distance from my shoulder to the tips of my fingers and it was approximately 20" add some wiggle room to 24", and that is what I'm calling my safe area. If anyone walks into my safe area, the barbie heads that are strapped to my shoulders will shake their heads "NO" and ward off the unwittingly violating space invaders.

Here's the recipe:


1 arduino uno

1 max sonar proximity sensor

2 servo motors

2 barbie heads

a jacket or hoodie

plenty of wire

cooking directions:

3 wires will connect from proximity sensor to arduino. PWM (pulse width modulation), ground and power. They are labeled on the back of the sensor. Power goes to 5v, ground to ground and PWM can go to pin 7 on your arduino. I found some very useful information on testing the sensor and getting the code started here:

Once you test your sensor and get that working properly (use your serial monitor to test if it's measuring inches accurately) you can hook up your servos! Each has 3 wires, one for ground, one for power (5v) and the third connects to the arduino. I used pin 8 for the 1st motor and 9 for the 2nd motor.

Glue barbie heads (or any weird item of your choosing) to the servo motor, don't muck up the gears! Insert into your favorite jacket or your ex-boyfriend's hoodie! Fire it up and ward off space invaders without awkward confrontations or hurting any feelings!

Decorate or dress up the proximity sensor anyway you like, I added a paper cut out hand to mine, be sure not to block the sensor or your barbie heads will just keep going non stop! Tape or sew the circuit into the inside of the jacket, and wear the sensor around your neck like a necklace! You can always make your circuit into a permanent fixture by going arduinoless, here is a link to that tutorial.

Here is the code I edited for this project, feel free to edit as you wish! Adjust the inches to fit your own personal space bubble! Enjoy, and remember... Don't stand so close to meeee!! >,<

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