Engineering students build a microcontroller-based medicine box

For their final project in the Electrical and Computer Engineering program, Cornell students Mingyuan Huang and Jie Zhang built a medicine box that dispenses medications automatically.

Their programmable medicine box allows nurses or patients to specify the pill quantity and day for their upcoming medications. The box consists of separate sub-boxes so it can be set for seven different pills.

Cornell students create smart medicine dispenser.
Cornell students create smart medicine dispenser.

“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 pre-loading pills for patients or users,” the students wrote on their Cornell project website.

Zhang and Huang used five major components for the device: a pill box with seven separate small boxes, a speaker module, a 3×4 keypad, an Atmel 1284p microcontroller, seven segment LED display, and a 2×16 characters LCD screen.

Watch the video below for more information.

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