An Arizona State University student recently designed an automatic medicine dispenser that could replace water and ice dispensers on refrigerators, according to a case study from Model Solution (Milpitas, Calif.).
The device can dispense pills for two different users and gives audio and visual signals for the times that the users have to take their medication.
Muriel Shields, an ASU student who was guided by professor Dosun Shin, created this device as part of an International Design Competition to safely dispense medication to seniors.
Medication is ordered from a pharmacy that has special bottles with build in NFC chips. The device, known as the SALUD Home Medicine Solution, dispenses medication periodically throughout the day at programmed times and uses audio and visual alarms to alert users that it is time to take their medication. It also features a user interface that allows for the user to enter a passcode to dispense the pills. The user then pulls a lever forward to catch the pills in their hand.
Model Solution helped build the prototype model of the medicine dispenser, which features removable parts, tactile buttons and functional LED lighting to light up seven different areas on the device and is made out of ABS, acrylic and aluminum.
The device also still functions as a water and ice dispenser and can automatically send a signal to the user’s pharmacy to alert them of when they need a refill.