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Medicine and health science fair project:
An Automated Cereal Dispenser for Disabled People




Project Information
Title: An Automated Cereal Dispenser for Disabled People
Subject: Medicine and Health
Subcategory: Engineering / Robotics
Grade level: High School - Grades 10-12
Academic Level: Ordinary
Project Type: Experimental
Cost: Medium
Awards: 1st Place, Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair (4100)
Affiliation: Canada Wide Virtual Science Fair
Year: 2013
Materials: Programmable Logic Controller
Concepts: Home automation
Description: The goal of The Automated Cereal Dispenser (ACD) is to save time and also to help people with diminished physical or mental capacities (e.g. Parkinsonís disease, Multiple Sclerosis, old age, injury, hospital stay). The ACD achieves this goal by providing timely and appropriate nutrition on demand using a timer. LEGO Robotics was used as a rapid prototyping platform. The device consists of over 1500 parts implementing structural and mechanical engineering, pneumatics, robotics, refrigeration, computer science and ergonomics. To enable automation, a light sensor-based balance, and an on-table food transport system were developed.
Link: http://www.virtualsciencefair.org/2013/berl13i
Short Background

Home automation for the elderly and disabled

The form of home automation called assistive domotics focuses on making it possible for the elderly and disabled to remain at home, safe and comfortable. Home automation is becoming a viable option for the elderly and disabled who would prefer to stay in the comfort of their homes rather than move to a healthcare facility. This field uses much of the same technology and equipment as home automation for security, entertainment, and energy conservation but tailors it towards the elderly and disabled.

Smart homes can implement medication dispensing devices in order to ensure that necessary medications are taken at appropriate times (Cheek 2005). Automated pill dispensers can dispense only the pills that are to be taken at that time and are locked; versions are available for Alzheimerís patients that have a lock on them (Cheek 2005). For diabetic patients a talking glucose monitor allows the patient to check their blood sugar level and take the appropriate injection (Cheek 2005). Digital thermometers are able to recognize a fever and alert physicians. Blood pressure and pulse monitors dispense hypertensive medications when needed.

There are also spoon-feeding robots.

Domestic robots, connected to the domotic network, are included to perform or help in household chores. Dedicated robots included robots helping to administer medications and alerting a remote caregiver if the patient is about to miss his or her medicine dose (oral or no-oral medications).

See also:
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_automation_for_the_elderly_and_disabled
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dispenser

Source: Wikipedia (All text is available under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License and Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License.)

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