# Title Team Members TA Documents Sponsor
65 Smart Pill Hub
Eric Cheng
Jerry Ning
Jinpeng Liu
Luoyan Li design_document3.pdf
Smart Pill Hub

Team Members:

Jerry Ning (yuxinn2)
Eric Cheng (hc43)
Jinpeng Liu (jinpeng4)


Managing multiple medications is a complex task, particularly for elderly or chronically ill patients who may have cognitive impairments or difficulties following a strict medication regimen. Missed doses or incorrect dosing can lead to ineffective treatment or severe health complications. Traditional pillboxes provide limited assistance and lack the ability to alert users or track medication intake. Smart pill boxes are not any much better. Almost all current pillboxes for sale lack features like automatic portioning and counting. The ones that have app/internet support are very expersive(up to thousands of dollars).


To address this, we propose a smart pill hub with the ability to store, dispense, and manage up to 8 different types of pills. It features individual compartments, a precision dispensing mechanism, a user-friendly mobile app, and integrated scales for automated pill counting. The hub will alert users via a dim light and beep sound for medication times, and it will be controlled via a Bluetooth-enabled mobile app that sets dosage amounts and frequencies. The device is designed to be powered by two step motors, controlled by an MCU, with digital scales integrated, and will have a wall power supply with a battery backup.

Solution Components

Subsystem 1: Pill Storage and Dispensing Mechanism

Each of the 8 containers can hold a different type of pill. Two step motors, controlled by an MCU, will activate a mechanism to dispense the correct number of pills from each compartment. The mechanism we will use is similar to what is used in some ammo production. The funnel-like shaped container sits at the top, with a tube similar like( ) this under the container. A gumball machine similar rotary design that will only dispense one pill at a time. Throughout our design process, we found the typical medication sizes ( ), which can only use 3 sizes of tube to accurately dispense all kinds of pill one at a time. When dispensing from a different container, it will automatically change to preset tube size using a rotary by step motor as well. All those will be controlled by a MCU

Subsystem 2: Control and Mobile Application with Bluetooth Connectivity

An intuitive mobile app will interface with the MCU via Bluetooth. Users can set the name of the pills, number of pills added, dosing schedule, dose amount, and view the estimated number of pills remaining. The app will also allow users to confirm the count of newly added pills as measured by the scale. The app will also allow the hub purely used as dispenser, which allowing user to dispense certain amount of each pill to the compartment at once, or allowing user to dispense mix of pills(e.g. daily mix) x(e.g.days) amount of times for traveling purposes and such. The app will also notify the user at scheduled time as well.

Without bluetooth connection, the hub should still be able to dispense correctly and store the data(e.g. amount of pill dispensed), which the app can be updated once the bluetooth is connected again. A light to the corresponding box on the hub will be lit if there is less than 3 day’s dosage of a certain pill as well.

Subsystem 3: Integrated Digital Scales

A small scale will be integrated into our hub as well. When the user did not add an entire new bottle or the user wanted to add an unknown amount of pills into the containers, the user can put a single pill on the scale, and our device will record the weight of the single pill. Users can then add the one kind of unknown amount of pills into one container, which we will use to scale to weight the weight difference to estimate how many of the kinds of pills have been added. This procedure of user adding pills will work together with our mobile app

Subsystem 4: Alert System

The device will feature a dual alert system - a dim light that turns on at the time of dosing and a beeping sound that activates every minute if the compartment is not opened post-alert, ensuring the user takes their medication at scheduled time.

Subsystem 5: backup battery

We will use a couple 9v batteries as the backup power plan. The backup power should work and be able to supply the hub for a couple days. the hub should indicate it is on backup power and potentially show backup power level as well.

Criterion For Success

Accurate Dispensing: The device should dispense the correct number of pills as per the set schedule.

Automated Counting: The integrated scales must accurately count the number of pills added to each compartment.

User-Friendly Interface: The mobile app should be intuitive, allowing users to easily set up and modify their medication schedules.

Reliable Alerts: The alert system must reliably notify the user at the correct times for medication.

Backup power: The backup power should work and be able to supply the hub for a couple days.

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"Engineering is all about solving real life problems and using the solutions to improve the lives of others. ECE 445 allows you to actually delve deeper into what this really means by providing students the chance to undergo the engineering design process. This requires taking all of the theoretical knowledge, lab experiences, and ultimately, everything that you have ever learned in life, and applying it to your project. Though, there is structure to the course and deadlines in place to measure your team's progress, the actual design, implementation, and success of your project is all determined by you. Unlike any other course that I have taken, I've gained an appreciation for the utilization and benefits of external resources, unforeseen scheduling delays, delegating tasks, and most importantly, teamwork. I consider ECE 445 to be a crash course into real life engineering and a guide to become a successful engineer." -- Lauren White