Automatic Pill Dispenser

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Year 13 UTC student Edward Pitts-Drake has designed, manufactured and programmed an automatic pill dispenser. The product was inspired by his grandparents who have been diagnosed with dementia and need assistance with taking the correct doses of medication at the correct time. 

Edward, who is currently studying  A-Levels at Lincoln UTC, said: "I noticed that my nan was struggling to take her medications at the correct times, so I decided to create a pill dispenser that would help. I can control when those medications are being dispensed to her and make sure she's taking them at the correct times."

The dispenser holds 4+ weeks of medication with two doses per day, and has an internal alarm to alert when a dose is available. It has a camera programmed to detect the presence of a hand, and will initially set of a reminder alarm if the medication has not been taken after a set period of time before sending an email alert to Edward. 

It ensures that medications cannot be accessed without tools and that doses cannot be mixed if the unit is inverted or rattled. It also has an internal battery to withstand power cuts, and an internal 4G to wifi modem so that broadband is not required.

Edward worked on the pill dispenser during project-based learning sessions, in which students are expected to plan and organise their own approaches, and are not spoon-fed or told how to solve the problems they encounter. There is an expectation that students will make mistakes and fail, which will lead to them reflecting, learning, and becoming more resilient.