One of the many issues that people suffering from disorders/diagnosed illnesses is missed dosages. Missing a dose that a patient needed to take at a certain time could cause negative effects to that patient. The inspiration of this project was due to an unfortunate event where Daniel's brother, who was diagnosed with epilepsy, forgot to take one of his daily medications and caused him to get into an epileptic state called status epilepticus - a state of constant seizure with no end. This was a huge inspiration for the team to create this device as many people suffer the consequences of missing a daily medication, despite what type of pill.

What it does

This automatic pill dispenser, called the Pill-O-Matic, dispenses the desired amount of pills a user needs while also alerting the user when to take it. The device allows a user to interact with the program to input however many pills they need, input the desired time to take the pill, and input how many pills are in the supply funnel. A minute before the time comes, the pills begin to be dispensed depending on how many pills they want to receive. As the pills become dispensed, the supply also decreases by the amount dispensed. When the minute comes, the beeper alerts the user to take their pill and beeps for 30 seconds.

How we built it

Using an Arduino kit, we connected an LCD to display menus for the user to click through and change their desired dosages, alarm time, and supply amount of pills. The buttons we connected to the Arduino allow the user to interact with the menus and select their values. We used an RTC module to keep track of real time and connect the alarm values to the time being recorded. Using a servo and second Arduino, the servo is programmed to be dispensed as the first arduino communicates with the second, which tells it to dispense the desired amount of pills. we built it

Challenges we ran into

Initially while coding the app and notification system, we didn't realize that the arduino we were working with did not contain a WiFi module, which meant we were unable to use the code we had written thus far. Additionally, we were only able to plug the arduino into one of our computers because we did not have the proper dongle convert the port.

Building out of cardboard and tape meant we had to deal with slight imperfections throughout the construction process. Often times, the components would move or get stuck on a different part, meaning we had to spend time adjusting the parts to work together. For example, as we added more parts to the inside of the frame, the platform that our servo was resting on moved, meaning we had to adjust the positioning of the slot and ramp that the pills would slide down.

What's next for Pill Dispenser

Adding a WiFi module to the arduino would allow us to build an app for the device that would provide an intuitive UI, push notifications for reminders to take medication, warnings for low supply, and more. Our device prototype was built out of cardboard and tape, but in the future, 3D-printing the components would allow for smoother and more standardized operation. Also, building the device with more space and materials would allow for additional capacity and the option to add multiple medications.

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