Project tutorial
COVID-19 Detector: The Need of the Crisis

COVID-19 Detector: The Need of the Crisis © MIT

Using the power of Python and Arduino, this detector measures and records user temperature.

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Components and supplies

Apps and online services

About this project

No one can predict a pandemic, it doesn't matter whether you are an advanced bio-chemist or a hobbyist hackster like me. Using our skills at hand, we have to help all we can. My goal to help was achieved in this project, where I used Arduino and Python to measure and record the temperature of employees and students coming into a building.

As our situation continues, and as the economy slowly opens, we need a efficient and practical way to make sure the people coming into a building aren't infecting others with this deadly virus. In the present, health-care workers are at the highest risk of getting infected with this disease, and hospitals need a device to monitor their temperature every time they leave or enter the building. As shown by the graph below, almost 1, 556, 930 registered nurses have been affected by COVID- 19.

When schools and office buildings reopen, there will need to be a way to prevent one person from spreading the pandemic to all the others. Students and workers can have their temperature checked and logged to the benefit of them and that of their employer. When the nurse comes, he or she will be able to clearly look and analyze the different student's or employee's temperatures which will be given with their name. The name will be read from their certain PIN. In the present and post-pandemic future, my invention will be useful in controlling the virus. Something has to be done, and we hobbyists can contribute.

This innovative idea can be used to defeat this virus, for this is one game of chess where our king can't fall, and we can't lose.

In conclusion, my inspiration was to read in the user's pin and determine his or her name from the input, measure temperature of the user using MLX90614 non-contact thermometer and associate it with his or her name. Lastly, the data would be logged for review by a health professional, thus keeping control of the virus in places like hospital buildings, schools, and office buildings in the current and future.

My COVID-19 Detector in Action!

Step One: Cloning The Repository

To clone the repository, read and follow the section, Cloning a repository using the command line.

Note: To read further about Git Repository's and their purpose if you have never encountered them before or want to clarify, read the following hyperlink:

Step Two: Getting the Materials

For this project, you will need some main components like the MLX90614 non-contact thermometer, KeyPad, LCD, Cerberus Cord, Arduino Due, and SparkFun RedBoard/Arduino Uno. The full component list can be accessed above or in my repository at /COVIDdetector/Index_of_Materials, and then the specified format suitable for your computer.

Step 3: WorkFlow Chart

Note: As you go through this tutorial, follow the below chart as you go through each step

Step 4: Build the Circuit

In the GitHub Repository, go to /COVIDdetector/images/circuits/, and with Fritzing, view circuit.fzz. You can also view the file below:

  • Note: In the Fritzing Circuit Diagram, the MLX90614 should have it's knob faced downwards if put in the exact same way as above

Step 5: Compiling and Running the Code

There are a few simple steps to compile and run the code:

Navigate to tools>Library Manager

  • Install the AdaFruit Library for the MLX90614 by AdaFruit
  • Install Wire.h if you don't have it already
  • Install Keypad.h by Mark Stanley, Alexander Brevig
  • Install LiquidCrystal.h built in by Arduino, Adafruit

Install PySerial by typing pipinstallpyserial into your terminal

Open Arduino IDE and run COVIDdetectorA.ino

Open a new instance of Arduino

  • On Mac, follow this tutorial
  • On Windows, perform two separate installations of the Arduino IDE

In the second instance of Arduino IDE, run IR_therm_test_adafruit.ino

Lastly, in the terminal run

You should see your record_sheet.csv being updated!

0,"Pyara,96.",2020-05-27 16:19:37
1,"Raunak,98.",2020-05-27 16:20:32
2,"Jasmeen,97.",2020-05-27 16:21:41
3,"Mandeep,99.",2020-05-27 16:22:61

Here is the graph of the temperature records derived from the csv:

Step 6: You're Done!

As an extra challenge, try implementing your own name into the PIN system in COVIDdetectorA.ino and try understanding how the python script works.

If you have any questions or suggestions don't hesitate to leave a comment below.


COVID-19 Detector
Clone this repository to follow along with this project and create your own portable COVID-19 detector


Fritzing Circuit Diagram for the COVID-19 detector
Follow along with this circuit to build the hardware part of the project which uses the Arduino Due, RedBoard, MLX90614 infrared thermometer, and three-headed cable to create the hardware part of this project.


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