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.

16 thoughts on “Pill Dispenser Tattles To The Internet When You Don’t Take Your Pills

  1. Is it because [Tim] is entering this into the contest that I’m not seeing build information for this, or am I missing something? The link appears to just go to the contest’s website. My wife’s grandmother is suffering from dementia, and something like this would definitely be helpful to keep tracks on her. (She’s violently adamant that she’s still capable of taking care of herself contrary to the evidence….)

    1. Had seen some reminder dispensers before, but not GlowCap specifically $80 per bottle and a monthly service fee…Yikes..You’re right about Twitter, it was just an example to show what can be done, would be more realistic to send a direct twitter message, an email or a text message. The log could be made into an RSS feed as well

  2. I forget to take pills all the time. This is a pretty clever idea. out of curiosity does anyone know how well pills keep when you pop them from their blister pack? A dispenser come notification setup would be fantastic.

    1. Just thinking if an auto dispenser was coupled with something akin to a coin sorter scaled down and a schedule of what should be taken when stored on the the device then you’d have a handy setup. Letting your doc control the schedule too might be handy.

Leave a Reply

Please be kind and respectful to help make the comments section excellent. (Comment Policy)

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.