Russian Student Invents Smart Clothespin for Face Masks

  • The new SesnPin is already on sale.
  • It was a winning project for the team Axiom.
  • Currently there are over 38 million infected around the world from coronavirus.

A student from the Far Eastern Federal University in Vladivostok, Georgy Budnik, created a device that monitors the condition of a protective mask and tells you when it’s time to change it. The student was part of the Axiom team, which participated in the International Exhibition for Young Inventors 2020 that was held this month.

Far Eastern Federal University is a university located in Vladivostok, Primorsky Krai, Russia. FEFU was established in 1899 as the Eastern Institute as a higher education institution specializing in oriental studies and training for administrative, commercial and industrial institutions in the Far East.

The Axiom team won the competition. There were 158 projects submitted from the nine countries in their category. The design, called SensPin, looks like a large clothespin. It attaches to the mask while wearing it.

According to the creators, the device is very light and does not cause the user any discomfort. Convenience is also added by the fact that the device is charged from a wireless docking station.

The main  purpose of SensPin is to determine that the mask has become wet due to breathing and needs to be replaced. The sensor built into SensPin detects that the mask surface is wet. The device immediately sends a message to the user’s smartphone that it is time to change the face mask.

At present, the invention is very relevant. The Coronavirus pandemic has been roaring this year around the world. Currently, there are over 38 million infected around the globe and over 1 million deaths. Therefore, everyone has been given instructions to wear a mask. A majority of public places now require patrons to wear a mask to enter their establishments.

The International Exhibition for Young Inventors (IEYI) was founded in 1904 by Japan Institute of Invention and Innovation (JIII). The aim of IEYI was to encourage creativity and invention from teenagers.

The human breath creates a moist environment on the surface of the mask, which promotes the proliferation of viruses and bacteria, so it is ineffective to constantly wear one mask. “Our solution will tell you when the protection tool loses its properties. It’s a small, lightweight device that helps you monitor your health.” said Budnik.

The moistened inner surface of the mask is really a fertile environment for the reproduction of bacteria. However, viruses are not able to reproduce outside of a living cell (except in the latest special environments, which scientists spend a lot of effort to create). A moist and warm surface helps viral particles not to reproduce as such, but to maintain their viability. In addition, humidification reduces the filtering capacity of certain types of masks.

The inventor is correct that masks need to be changed periodically. Therefore, SensPin can be a great aid to do it in a timely manner. Additionally, the product is already being sold online.

The pin should be recommended for everyone who needs to wear a mask the whole work day. It is plausible that distribution of the pin will be subsidized by the Russian government, especially to its front line workers.

Christina Kitova

I spent most of my professional life in finance, insurance risk management litigation.

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