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Sensor-based automatic hand sanitizer dispenser

 Research Scholar, Bachelor of Pharmacy, Yadavrao Tasgaonkar Institute of Pharmacy, Raigad, Maharashtra, India

Date of Submission01-May-2020
Date of Decision30-May-2020
Date of Acceptance03-Jun-2020

Correspondence Address:
Hariram Ramashray Yadav,
Yadavrao Tasgaonkar Institute of Pharmacy, Bhivpuri Road, Raigad, Maharashtra
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/mjdrdypu.mjdrdypu_221_20


Hand sanitization is the most useful way to prevent the spread of disease-causing microorganisms. Traditionally, to sanitize and clean our hands, we are using soaps and manual hand soap dispenser. Nowadays, due to advancement in the technology, we have optimized the health-care equipment. Currently used modern equipments are very complex and expensive. This research paper proposes the idea of fully automated sensor-based controlled sanitizer dispenser. This research paper advocates radically different approaches: we aim to fully automate the current technique using alternate components for system, thereby reducing the cost of the product. Our designed automated dispenser can be commercially used to develop a good sanitization approach toward a community. The main advantage of this design is that we could design a number of automated dispensers within a small period of time using basic components in a very fewer budget.

Keywords: Automated dispenser, hand sanitization, prevention of spread, sensor-based technology

How to cite this URL:
Suryawanshi VR, Surani HC, Yadav HR. Sensor-based automatic hand sanitizer dispenser. Med J DY Patil Vidyapeeth [Epub ahead of print] [cited 2021 Jun 12]. Available from: https://www.mjdrdypv.org/preprintarticle.asp?id=316406

  Introduction Top

Hands are the primary mode of transmission of disease-causing bacteria, viruses, and other microorganisms. Hence, hand hygiene is the most important measure to avoid the transmission of harmful microorganisms, and thereby we can prevent the infections. To maintain hand hygiene, the simplest and least expensive means is to sanitize hands using sanitizer.[1] Hand sanitizer is the perfect option for on-the-go cleaning. Nowadays, due to the transmission of many bacterial and viral diseases, it is very important to understand importance of hand hygiene.[2] A literature survey provided us with a spectrum of automated techniques used of fluid dispensing along with several designs of dispensing system proposed by various inventors (fluid dispenser prototype). All the invented automated devices lacked features of pumps, and they were too expensive to reach the common needy people. There are many patented, complex, and expensive sanitizer dispensers in the market, and the majority of which are found in hospitals. This device uses electromagnetic energy, and light-emitting diode (LED) light is refracted off due to the hands over the sensing element light dependent resistor (LDR). Triggering the LDR results in the starting the relay to dispensing the sanitizing fluid.

The present study aims to develop a conventional hand sanitizer machine. Sensor-based automatic hand sanitizer dispenser is an automated machine which dispenses a controlled amount of soap solution without even touching to the knob, hence reducing the possibility of spreading of infection and creates more sterile sanitization. Dispensers will only distribute a set amount of soap per motion activation. A programmed amount of sanitizer to be dispensed can be set to a highly effectual quantity, in which waste will be minimal. The average price of automated hand sanitizer available in the market is very high, and it is challenging to reach out to poor people. Hence, our major aim is to develop modern technique of automatic sanitization economically and ensuring the availability to the common people. Hence, being in health-care profession, we have formulated herbal hand sanitizer and developed sensor-based automated hand sanitization technique.

Herbal hand sanitizer

The alcohol-based herbal hand sanitizer formulated based on the efficacy and antimicrobial activity of eucalyptus oil is used to disinfect hands.[3]

  Methodology Top


The low cost of fluid dispenser automatic machine was developed using microchip IC 555. The principle utilized for dispensing precise, accurate, and user-defined volumes of solution was time-based dispensing, i.e., the amount of fluid to be dispensed will be determined by the time taken by the user to remove the hand. The complete system is developed using the different components. The components used in sensor-based automated hand sanitizer machine are as follows (Depicted in [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3]):
Figure 1: Circuit model

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Figure 2: Light-dependent resistor circuit

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Figure 3: Relay circuit

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  System Component Top

Light-emitting diode

A LED is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. The color of the light (corresponding to the energy of the photons) is determined by the energy required for electrons to cross the bandgap of the semiconductor.[4] It is a semiconductor device having two terminals such as “positive anode” and “negative cathode.” It is operated by “electroluminescence” phenomena. LED is used to indicate the warning signals. Infrared LEDs are employed in alarm circuit, in telecommunication circuit, in automobile as a brake light, etc.


A transistor SL100 is a device used to amplify or switch electrical signals. It is made up of semiconductor usually with three terminals and connected to external circuit. A current is applied to one pair of transistor's terminal to control the current through other pairs. Transistor usually amplifies signal. Transistor is a 3 LAYER (n, P, n) current control device. TRANSISTOR SL100 is a high-frequency silicon device. Transistor SL100 is generally used for low-power application; it is also used in switching circuit, amplifier circuit, and in logic gate manufacturing. In this fluid dispenser system, we used SL100 transistor. SL100 transistor is a general purpose, medium power NPN Transistor.[5] Transistor SL100 is a high-frequency silicon device.


Relay 6V 5-pin is used in the automated hand sanitizer dispenser. A relay in an electric circuit is an electromagnetic switch operated by electric current that turns on/off higher electric current. Relays are switches that open and close circuits electromechanically or electronically.[6] Relays control one electrical circuit by opening and closing associates in another circuit. Relay operations include the opening and closing of circuit contacts using electronic components without any mechanical operation. During abnormal condition (overvoltage, short circuit), current in the circuit increases drastically, where relay will sense the fault and remove the faulty part from healthy part, and hence this is used for protection against such abnormal conditions.

Light-dependent resistor

Light-dependent resistances (LDRs) are cheap light sensors. A less known light detector is the electret microphone, whose electret membrane functions as a perfect absorber, but only detects pulsed light.[7] Hence, they are light-sensitive devices. They are also called as photoconductors, photoconductive cells, or simply photocells. The resistance of a photoresistor decreases with increase in incident light intensity; in other words, it exhibits photoconductivity. A photoresistor can be applied in light-sensitive detector circuits and light-activated and dark-activated switching circuits acting as a resistance semiconductor.

Integrated circuit

An integrated circuit (IC) has a number of electronic components assembled and fabricated on single silicon semiconductor chip. Depending on its design, it can be used as amplifier, timer, microprocessor, oscillator, and computer memory. IC 555 timer consists of 8-bit microprocessor and other peripherals; it is operated as flip-flop or multivibrator and provides time delay. IC 555 operates in three modes – Astable, monostable, and bistable.


A diode is an electronic component with two electrodes called anode and the cathode. Diodes are made up of semiconductor materials such as silicon, germanium, or selenium. Here, diodes are used as voltage regulators. In this fluid dispenser system, I used 1 N 4001. For 1N4001 diode, the maximum current carrying capacity is 1A and it withstands peaks up to 30 A.[8] Hence, we can use this in circuits that are designed for <1 A. The reverse current is 5 μA, which is negligible. It can withstand reverse voltage peak up to 50 V.

Water pump

A pump is a maneuver that moves fluids by machine-driven action. Basically, there are three types of pump: direct lift, displacement, and gravity pumps. Pumps have a specific mechanism and consume energy to perform work. Pumps operate through many energy sources including manual, electricity, engines, or wind energy.


Pots are three-terminal variable resistors. Among three, two terminals are fixed, and one is a movable. The movable or sliding contact is often referred to as wiper. A potentiometer is a voltage divider used for the measurement of electrical potential.


Resistor is an electrical component that diminishes the electric current. A resistor is an inert two-terminal electrical component that implements electrical resistance as a circuit element. The ability to reduce the current is called resistance and is measured in ohms (Ω). In this fluid dispenser system, we used a resistor of 470 Ω. In electronic circuits, resistors are used to adjust signal levels, to divide voltages and terminate transmission lines among other uses.

LED and LDR Pin 3 of IC 555 are connected to resistor R1 of 470 Ω which is then connected to transistor SL100. Diode D1 of 1N 4001 and relay RL1 of 6 V 100 Ω are connected to transistor SL100. Relay is directly connected to pump which give instructions and signal for starting and stopping the pump.

A 6 V direct current is supplied to the IC 555 at pin 4, 8 (+ve) and at pin 1 (−ve). Pin 2 and 6 of IC 555 are connected to LDR and VR1 of 1M which responds to the change in the intensity of light during hand is between LED and LDR. Pin 3 of IC 555 is connected to resistor R1 of 470 Ω which is then connected to transistor SL100. Diode D1 of 1N 4001 and relay RL1 of 6 V 100 Ω are connected to transistor SL100. Relay is directly connected to pump which give instructions and signal for starting and stopping the pump.

  Working Top

The electronic hand sanitizer dispenser is based on IC 555. Our sensor-based automated hand sanitizer dispenser senses the ambient light intensity too. When the light emitted from LED on the LDR obstructed by the hands, the resistance of LDR is increased. The LDR along with sensing element 1M potentiometer is connected to 2 and 6 pair of IC 555. Due to the resistance of LDR, it triggers IC 555 which is used as a bistable mode. This leads to increase in voltage of pin 3. The relay and IC 555 are connected to each other through transistor SL100. Transistor SL100 switches the electrical signal, amplifies the signal, and passes toward the relay. The pins in the relay are activated, then it gives the signal to the pump and sanitizer from the reservoir come out from nozzle, and it will sanitize our hands. When hands are removed, this results in the dropping of light on LDR. Resistance of the light-dependent resistor reduces, and the voltage of pin 3 of IC goes down, resulting in the detachment of the relay from IC 555 through transistor SL100. When pins of relay are not connected, then relay gives deactivating signal to pump stops the falling out of hand sanitizer.[9] The working process of automated sensor-based sanitizer dispenser system is described in [Figure 4] and video.
Figure 4: Automatic hand sanitizer dispenser

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  Conclusion Top

An automated sensor-based sanitizer dispenser system employs the use of alternative component technology in the design. In the future, the system can be used for sanitization of hands, and its ability to detect the changes in the light emitted by LED will be very useful as well as will be considered as very efficient. Furthermore, by applying the automated hand sanitizer dispenser technique in our day-to-day life at common places to make the sanitization technique available to common peoples easily, we can implement such low price and economical system to make the people disease free and prevent the spread of infection.


We take this opportunity to express gratitude to our Principal Dr. Rupali Tasgaonkar, Yadavrao Tasgaonkar Institute of Pharmacy. We are extremely thankful to Dr. Shishir Pande, Director of Ayurveda Sanshodhan Vibhag, Ayurved Seva Sangh, Nashik, and Shri. Yogesh Ingle, BSc., BEd. (Physics), Sane Guruji Vidyalaya, Ambeshiv, for their help and support.

Financial support and sponsorship


Conflicts of interest

There are no conflicts of interest.

  References Top

Pratibha RK, Kolhapure SA. Evaluation of the antimicrobial efficacy and safety of pure Hands as a hand sanitizer. Indian J Clin Pract 2005;15:19-27.  Back to cited text no. 1
Available from: https://www.nature.com/articles/s41368-0. [Last accessed on 2020 May 30].  Back to cited text no. 2
Suryawanshi VR, Surani HC, Yadav HR. Formulation, evaluation and anti-microbial efficiency of alcohol based herbal hand sanitizer. Int J Eng Sci Comput 2020;12:25113-15.  Back to cited text no. 3
Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/LED. [Last accessed on 2020 May 29].  Back to cited text no. 4
Available from: https://www.galco.com/comp/prod/relay.htm. [Last accessed on 2020 May 30].  Back to cited text no. 6
da Silva DF, Acosta-Avalos D. Light Dependent Resistance as a Sensor in Spectroscopy Setups Using Pulsed Light and Compared with Electret Microphones; 2006.  Back to cited text no. 7
Available from: https://harshasnmp.wordpress.com/basic-electronic-components/diode/. [Last accessed 2020 May 30].  Back to cited text no. 8
Thant ML, Mon KM, Tun KT. Automatic hand dryer. Journal name= International Journal of Creative and Innovative Research in All Studies 2019;2: 107-110.  Back to cited text no. 9


  [Figure 1], [Figure 2], [Figure 3], [Figure 4]


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