Koronadal teacher develops own disinfecting machine

Koronadal teacher develops own disinfecting machine
LOCAL INNOVATION. Engr. Louie Joy Palete (in photo), a senior high school teacher of the Koronadal National Comprehensive High School in Koronadal City, works on his alternative 2019 coronavirus disease misting machine at his workshop. The machine is now being used by the city government and several other offices, establishments and public facilities. (Photo courtesy of Engr. Louie Joy Palete)

A teacher of a public senior high school (SHS) here has developed an alternative and low-cost disinfectant machine to help combat the 2019 coronavirus disease (Covid-19).

Made mostly of locally-available materials and uses an electronic misting sensor as the main device, the machine is now being used by the city government and several other public offices and facilities.

Engr. Louie Joy Palete, a science, technology, engineering, and mathematics or Stem teacher of the Koronadal National Comprehensive High School (KNCHS)-SHS, used his background in electronics and communications engineering to invent the machine.

Dubbed Covid-19 disinfectant misting machine (DMM), he said it is made of an “arduino nano,” a small, complete, and breadboard-friendly board based on the ATmega328 (Arduino Nano 3. x); ultrasonic sensor; water pump; and relays.

The secondary parts were polyvinyl chloride or PVC pipe and plastic water containers.

Palete said its sensor is capable of detecting and disinfecting a person at about one-meter distance, decreasing person-to-person contact and minimizing the spread of the disease.

“I came up with the idea to assemble the DMM because there are times that we are hesitant to use soaps and touch the faucets in public places for fear of Covid-19 contamination,” Palete said in an interview on Tuesday.

He said the misting machine, which has a production cost of PHP4,200 each, is more practical to use as it is designed to be mobile or can be transferred easily from one place to another.

It can be placed in the entrance and exits of establishments, quarantine checkpoints, and public markets, he added.

Palete donated his first DMM model to the city government of Koronadal, a gesture that elated City Mayor Eliordo Ogena.

Ogena had described Palete’s misting machine as ingenious and a huge contribution to the city’s efforts to contain and prevent the spread of Covid-19.

Aside from the city hall, the DMMs are now installed at the entrance of the Department of Education-Region 12, Department of Public Works and Highways-12 and the outpatient department of the South Cotabato provincial hospital.

“One unit was adopted as a model by the Police Regional Office-12 and it was already forwarded to Camp Crame,” Palete said.

Palete said he has now shifted to its mass production locally and working on at least 70 orders.

His colleagues at KNCHS are currently raising funds for the production of additional misting machines.

“I have volunteers who are willing to help, they have extended their efforts to assemble more units and hopefully these will be deployed soon,” he said.

Palete, who was earlier recognized by DepEd central office for his ingenuity, said there were also kind-hearted individuals who donated various materials for the machines. (PNA)

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