Open Project – Qinxinrui Zhu

Distance Detection Mask

Qinxinrui Zhu 3168585



This work is a mask combined by CPX and HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance detector. This mask’s shape is inspired by the doctor’s kit invented by Charles de Lorme, a French doctor in the century, to prevent the transmission of the Black Death. The shape of the mask looks like a bird’s beak. At the time of the Black Death epidemic, doctors would fill the brim with spices and herbs and sprinkle perfume outside to avoid the disease’s spread. I will install a distance detector on this. When two people are too close to the distance sensor will sense the distance is too tight and feed the data to CPX then CPX will respond.


Because of the current Covid-19 pandemic, everyone has started wearing masks to avoid contracting Covid-19 and spreading it to each other. So I wanted to make a mask with protective properties and at the same time remind people to keep a safe social distance to ensure their safety better, and I also wanted it to serve as some warning. At first, my idea was to install a distance detection device and CPX directly on the ordinary mask, but then the warning effect would be weakened. So I decided to change the shape of the mask to turn it into a beak mask look. The beak mask shape has creepy, so it often appears in some horror games. I hope this mask so that in a particular protective, at the same time his appearance can also play a specific role in warning to remind people that only with an excellent mask to prevent the epidemic to avoid being infected actively. Covid-19 brought people harm will pass as soon as possible, after all, every day with such a mask to bring people only uncomfortable and unattractive. The distance detector will be installed on the outside of the mask. When the distance between two people is lower than the safe distance, CPX will be activated to send sound and light to remind people to maintain a good social distance.





Download a plague doctor mask from the website below


Print off the paper model of the plague doctor and cut the paper model out.


Cut the leather according to the shape of the paper mold. And glue the leather on the corresponding shape of the paper mold. Then Cut out two holes on the side of the beak to accommodate the HC-SR04 ultrasonic detector



Connect the CPX and HC-SR04 ultrasonic with wires, alligator clips, and breadboard.

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Cut a piece of plastic to fit the frame and glue the plastic to the frame.



Put together the paper mold with leather glued to it according to the steps.


Put the previously connected CPX and HC-SR04 into the mask, and put the two detectors of HC-SR04 out of the small hole that just cut.




Final Project Images





Circuit Diagram


Materials List


  • Circuit Playground Express
  • HC-SR04 ultrasonic distance detector
  • Breadboard
  • Wires
  • 10k resistor
  • Alligator clips
  • Leather
  • Glue gun
  • Transparent Plastic

Reflections & Next Steps 

At first, I wanted to build the mask directly from leather. Still, I realized that there was no way to make it at my current level and with no experience producing leather goods, so I chose to print off a paper model of the mask and then glue leather on the top to make it look like a natural plague doctor mask. HC-SR04 is a distance detector worth exploring, and it can be combined with many things to produce a different effect. But I found making it that it detects a wide range of angles, and it is also more sensitive and can easily detect things at a set distance. The most obvious disadvantage of this surface is that this distance detector will react as soon as it detects something within that distance. My design concept only wants it to react when it detects people too close to each other. So the next step, I will study what equipment can only detect people (infrared) and then improve this mask. Then I will give up the foundation of paper modeling to learn about leather manufacturing and then use the full leather for mask production.

Resources & Related Works

Ninjatoes. (2014). Papercraft wearable “Plague DOCTOR” MASK. Retrieved April 16, 2021, from

Walters, K. (2017). Distance Measurement with Ultrasound. Retrieved from

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