Has someone cured the common cold with a Raspberry Pi?

No. They haven’t. What’s taking you all so long?

Alex has a cold

I felt it coming on last night. That heavy-headedness. The slight tickle in my throat. Blurry vision, sudden chills, a desperate need for snuggles. Colds can go from zero to a hundred within minutes, and then, no matter how much you hydrate, how early a night you get, or how much medication you take, you know you’re going to wake up feeling rough.

gif of monica from friends feeling ill

As I have done today.

So I turned to the internet

And I typed this…

googling screengrab

And nothing came up. Nothing at all. I mean, I know you’re all busy living your best lives and all that, but c’mon, team — I was counting on at least one of you to have fixed this by now!

Somebody do something!

You’ve let me down, but I am going to give you all another chance to make amends.

In the comments below, or in reply to the social media posts on Facebook and Twitter about the publication of this blog post, I’d like you to invent a Raspberry Pi project that will aid me in getting over my cold.

It may be a robot that hands me a tissue, or one that rocks me to sleep. It could be an algorithm for predicting when I’ll next get sick based on certain factors such as climate, schedule, or my poor, vitamin-deprived diet.

It could even be a drone that will deliver my mother to my house whenever I need attention and a hug.

Whatever your invention, however wild and unlikely it seems, I want to hear about it. And the best ones will receive some stickers or something — whatever cool Raspberry Pi thingers I’ll find in my desk when I return to Pi Towers on Monday. #SuchPrepared #MuchProfessional #wow

And no, you don’t have to actually make the thing. Just tell me what it would do and, if you like, include pictures!

And while you’re all doing that…

I’m going to make another cup of tea and curl up on the sofa with She-Ra on Netflix. Ta!

She-Ra gif


Misel avatar

I’m pretty sure Simone Giertz’ robots can be easily repurposed to hand you tissues. :D

Alex Bate avatar

While true, I’d like to not be injured in the process of getting better. Haha.

Isaiah Stephens avatar

What if you used the owi robotic arm attached to the raspberry pi with the USB add-on thing and make it take a tissue out of a box at the push of a button or maybe with voice control and hand it to you (maybe have the contraption attached to the side of your bed?).

Norman Dunbar avatar

How about a Raspberry Pi “Hot Toddy Maker”? A device to mix the correct doses of honey, lemon and brandy (or Scotch Whisky as appropriate), heat it to the correct temperature before dispensing.

As a special bonus, it could be configured to exceed the correct doses for some, or all, of the ingredients.

Just a thought.

Paul Woodard avatar

How about you wear a tag and theh a drone, controled by a pi, flys to you every N hours with some water and what ever pills (like vitamin C and echinacea) you need to take at the scheduled time.

Andrew avatar

Apparently vitamin-wise the ine to take is D. Yes that’s right, not C but D. I read that in the BBC website, I think. Well, it was a good enough source for me to start taking it daily. Apparently in winter we should all be taking it due to lack of sunlight – sunlight lets our bodies make vitamin D you see.

Get well soooon ?

Steve avatar

That’s not the real She-Ra. She’s an imposter!

Kevin Kessler avatar

How about use the LTE hat and make a push button for doctors calls. Maybe some sort of mic recording of what your issues are and give the doc another pi to receive and have it so the docs pi interfaces with the docs network and automatically schedules your visit.

Nicolas Clapham avatar

A couple of picams around the house, opencv model looking for smiles, gait, and general zest of movement (“train” with a self-reporting diary). Hook it up to your WristBit pedometer/heart rate monitor, and perhaps a diet diary, and build an AIflow model to run on Intel’s current or Google’s imminent USB TPU. I don’t know how to do any of this, but if you do, I’d quite like a download of a cold and mood predictor image file.

Tzarls avatar

Here´s my take on this issue:

Common cold is caused by a virus. It doesn´t matter how much vitamins you take or any other factor, the best defense would be to avoid getting in contact with the virus. Yes, I know you said “cure”, but why focus on the cure when you can prevent?

There are 2 ways to get the infection: either via airborne droplets or by touching an infected object. So the idea is to:

a. Cover mouth and nose
b. Keep clean any object you touch

Here´s where the Raspberry Pi can come handy. Have a Raspberry Pi attached to your clothes (or hat, or helmet) together with some mcirophones and a camera, a couple of motors and a face mask. During normal times the face mask will be ketp away from mouth and nose. When the Raspberry Pi, using Computer Vision and/or audio analysys, detects someone sneezing (or even better, it detects that someone is about to sneeze) it moves the face mask into position, effectively preventing the infection.

Then there should be a second Raspberry Pi (together with a camera, bacterial gel dispenser with some kind of pump) monitoring your hands. As soon as the system detects that your are going to get in touch with some object it should activate the pump to dispense the appropriate amount of gel to clean said object.

How come no one has thought of something like this before?

Isaiah avatar

And the best part is that you will not look like a germaphobe at all. :-)

tzj avatar

Not cold related, but mold related, are there any devices that detect mold spores?

Neil avatar

Politically incorrect and insensitive, but: A “Maxwell’s Silver Hammer” robot to put us all out of your misery ;-/

Shakil Hussain avatar

Aww, hope you get better Alex :)

Raymond Ramirez avatar

Who is “She-Ra”? Is she related to “He-Man”?

Rob avatar

Raspberry pi powered hypno/sleep googles, using leds. If you sleep through the next day, you won’t “feel” rough.. (also get better soon!)

sleeptalker avatar

I hope, auto shutdown included in your plan?
And this device should play soothing music or soft noises (rain, sea or forest – whatever pleases you) in addition.

Get well soon, Alex!

Ben avatar

Hygienic measures such as handwashing can prevent the spread of respiratory viruses, especially from younger children. Reccomend creating a Raspberry Pi assisted handwashing scanner. Hands will be washed using an anti-bacterial soap with a pigment that illuminates in black light. The Raspberry Pi assisted hand scanner will set outside the bathroom. It will measure the amount of area in the image that is filled with remnants of the black light pigment. When > 90% of the pigment has been removed, then the device will announce a positive ring, else, it will announce a short failure tone. The device could also be programmed to dispense a sticker as a reward for practicing good hand hygiene.

Joseph Alway avatar

That would actually be quite interesting.

elliot avatar

is the rasperry pi not booting?

Zeh Li avatar

You can just run it and let it be hot, so that you could feel worm and nice.

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