Pill dispenser tattles to the Internet when you don’t take your pills


Here’s another entry in the Parallax microMedic 2013 contest. [Tim] calls it his Propeller-based Internet Logging Pill Dispenser (PDF file), or P.I.L. Box for short.

The hardware is a base unit into which a normal plastic pill organizer is placed. We like this design, as many pharmacies will fill pill boxes for you and this doesn’t complicate that process. You simply pull out the correct box at the beginning of the week and put it in the base unit. You can see one white LED is shining on the Monday slot in the box. This lights up starting an hour before the set pill taking time. This way if you walk by it reminds you. There is also a voice tailor made to scare the elderly that comes out of the speaker, and a simple messages spelled out on the set of seven segment displays. The base unit detects when you press the button to open the pill box and counts that as a properly administered dosage.

Now, if you forget to take the pill it’s not a good thing. The server, which is running on the laptop, will rat you out. It uses the Twitter API to alert whomever is following it — meant for a relative or caregiver — that a dosage was missed. Let’s hope they’re good at keeping up with their Twitter feed!

We remember seeing one other microMedic entry so far, this heart-shaped heart simulator. But we’re going to look around and see how many other good ones we’ve missed.

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A Pill Reminder Box to be Proud of

Not satisfied with the traditional daily pill boxes, [Ryan] set out to build his own. According to his article, these particular pills had to be taken every three days, and he wanted a solution that required “zero effort.” Although one might question whether his solution actually took this amount of effort, the build came out very well.

The result is a box that reminds one to take a pill from one or two bottles using a blinking LED. When the pill bottle is picked up, consumption is assumed and the timer is reset. The main components consist of an Arduino, real time clock, and a battery backup.  Additionally, two picture frames are used to form the project enclosure along with some LEDs and other assorted hardware to finish everything.

This project combines some basic electronics hacking and programming with a very nice looking cover. The results are a very clean looking build with a good write up. For another example of a well finished project with great pictures, check out this N64 portable build.