In context: To prevent the spread of the coronavirus or any other for that matter, the World Health Organization and the US Center for Disease Control recommend washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. It is sound advice that has been given by health professionals for decades. But how do you time yourself?
The CDC suggests that you can time your handwashing by singing "Happy Birthday" to yourself twice. However, singing a song that many people only croon on occasion, and mostly out of obligation, every time you go to the sink quickly becomes monotonous---singing it twice, doubly so.
Fortunately, technology design firm Deeplocal has developed plans for a soap dispenser called "Scrubber" that plays 20 seconds of your favorite songs from Spotify. Best of all, it has released the design with full instructions on GitHub for free, so you can build one yourself while cooped up in your home.
In a nutshell, the project rigs up a soap dispenser with a Raspberry Pi and speakers so that when you press down on the nozzle, it selects a song from your Spotify account's most played tracks of the week list. A timer cuts the song short at 20 seconds, signaling you that it's okay to rinse off.
The project is very affordable, costing only about four hours of your time and $30 to $35 depending on what kind of soap dispenser you use, you may already have one suitable. The main costs are the Raspberry Pi Zero W and a speaker bonnet and speakers, both of which you can buy from Adafruit for $10 and $13, respectively.
If you are a DIYer, many of the other parts might already be lying around the shop. Some of them can also be substituted for items you can find around the house. For example, if you're fresh out of copper tape, you can use aluminum foil and super glue instead.
Deeplocal's Scrubber dispenser sounds like a practical and fun project to do with the kids---that is---after they finish their distance leaning for the day.
Image credit: Deeplocal