Smart Medicine Box
Our ECE 4760 final project is to build a microcontroller based smart medicine box. Our medicine box is targeted on users who regularly take drugs or vitamin supplements， or nurses who take care of the older or patients. Our medicine box is programmable that allows nurses or users to specify the pill quantity and day to take pills, and the serve times for each day. Our smart medicine box contains seven separate sub-boxes. Therefore, nurses or users can set information for seven different pills. When the pill quantity and time have been set, the medicine box will remind users or patients to take pills using sound and light. The specific number of pills needs to be taken will be displayed by a seven segment led display placed on the corresponding sub-box. Compared with the traditional pill box that requires users or nurses to load the box every day or every week. Our smart medicine box would significantly release nurses or users’ burden on frequently preloading pills for patients or users.
Rationale and Inspiration
I am an international student, and during holidays I always bring some USA made medicines to my grandparents back in China. I found they always have trouble remember the number of pills they need to take from each of the medicine bottle because they couldn’t read English. They also complained to me that they sometimes forget to take to pills, and some medicines were expired due to this reason. Therefore, the idea to make a smart pillbox that would help people like my grandparents came to my mind. After I talked with my partner Jie, we broadened the targeted users of our pillbox from just the older to people who regularly take pills. We also thought nurses who take care of patients could also benefit from, since they also regularly prepare pills for patients. After the targeted user being defined, we then defined the specifications of our device based on the user needs. The device should be able to generate loud sound so that even people with impaired hearing were able to hear it. The device should demonstrate ease of use. Therefore, we decided to use a LCD and a keypad as the user interface. In order to help user remember the number of pills they need to take, we also used several seven segment LED displays to indicate the number of pills the user need to take. Based on theses specifications, we designed a high-level block diagram (figure below) to demonstrate the overall design of our device.
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