Corona Lamp: Monitor the pandemic

24 March 2020

Corona lamp

Paranoid, or “just concerned”, with the ongoing pandemic and want to keep tabs on the situation? This ESP8266 and WS2812B enabled lamp has got you covered.

Are you freaking out, all stocked up on toilet paper and waiting the virus out? You can check the Corona Lamp on how the apocalypse is doing. If it’s all green, it’s safe to go out. If, on the other hand, you are reasonable you can use it to monitor the progress of the disease without threatening graphs or misleading raw numbers.

CoViD-19 has been affecting our lives for the past couple of months. To me personally, the troubles started when it caused a delay to the PCB’s for the new version of the Smartcar platform. Then, the ArIoT hackathon where I was scheduled to be a judge got cancelled. Most recently, the FOSS North conference where I was participating as a speaker is going full virtual instead. Hopefully, it will take place in its physical form during November.

I had to do something about this! Inspired by the SARS-CoV-2, I wrote some new firmware to the Code Review Lamp and now it can be used to monitor the growth rate of CoViD-19 infections.
Corona lamp illuminates according to the growth rate of the CoViD-19 infections in the selected country, over the past 2 weeks. Overall, the more red the lamp is, the higher the infection rate. When it gets greener, it means that the growth rate of the disease is low or has even stopped. There are 16 LEDs on the lamp, each illuminated for the disease’s growth rate on that particular day. The data are fetched wirelessly, via a ESP8266 microcontroller and their original source currently is Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University.

corona lamp effect

Corona lamp, can be utilized to quickly monitor the progress of the country’s efforts to halt the disease, without being as threatening as graphs and sometimes misleading as plain numbers. You will find the software for this in the Code Review Lamp repository. The hardware is unchanged.
That being said, especially now that more work remotely it is even more important to provide prompt code reviews, so not having so not having a colleague tapping your shoulder asking for a review, is not an excuse to be slow. Build yourself a Code Review Lamp that, why not, can be used as a Corona Lamp when there are no incoming reviews! 😄