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Analysis for my general engineering theoretical design project?

  1. Oct 19, 2011 #1
    1. The problem statement, all variables and given/known data
    Hi all,
    So I am in an intro to design and ethics class and we are creating a theoretical design project. Basically just going through the 10 steps, but actually coming up with ideas, doing research, and conceptually creating some alternative solutions (the project takes the whole semester basically).
    Now I am sitting at Analysis and I am a tad stuck as we need to utilize a mathematical equation to determine performance or something of the like. Also, we need to develop a bill of materials. My project is the digital pill box with the problem of enhancing medication adherence and ultimately increasing population health.

    3. The attempt at a solution

    We came up with some great looking alternative solutions but I am not sure how to find equations or a bill of materials for these theoretical parts and processes. I have google searched high and low but most companies don't really reveal the production cost of their products...
    So I am not sure really where to go on this one and am open to any suggestions. Just a point in the right direction would help greatly!
  2. jcsd
  3. Oct 20, 2011 #2
    So basically I just was hoping to see if anyone could point me in the direction of how to find some of these costs, or equations.

    The problem I am having is that my project isn't real, I mean how do you perform analysis on something like that?

    Has anyone done something like this before, and if so, what helped you?

    Any suggestions, thoughts, or random statements are welcome!
  4. Oct 20, 2011 #3


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    USN2ENG: How does it work? Are there any very simple mechanical parts you can do a quick stress analysis on, such as a cantilever beam?
  5. Oct 21, 2011 #4
    Thanks for responding! I attached a picture of one of the slides we used for our mini proposal. This is the top view. On the right is the top protective cover. All the compartments on the left are hinged and will have some sort of micro switch so we can tell if it has been opened or not (so we can notify if they missed a dose). Other than that it should just be speakers and electronics I would think. Any thoughts on some possible avenues to explore would be great!

    Attached Files:

  6. Oct 21, 2011 #5


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    What is "MMS test messaging"?
  7. Oct 21, 2011 #6
    Sorry, that was an old picture of the slide before it was corrected.
    The feature was MMS (text message), aka Multimedia Messaging System. Basically the thought is that it can send either the user or a family contact a text reminder after a certain time has passed since a missed dose.
  8. Oct 21, 2011 #7


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    Sounds like a fun project. Just a couple thoughts...

    Folks who would benefit the most from something like this will tend to be older, and generally will not have great eyesight, and may be hard of hearing. So making things easy to see and read, and having good volume on the speaker will be important. Also, some of the users will be confused easily, so making things simpler is a good thing.

    On one hand, you could have a smartphone app that takes care of the notification, alarms, communicating with loved ones, etc., and have a simpler dispenser device (maybe even non-powered or person-actuated). The display on the smartphone would make it easy to figure out what to do with the dispenser to get the correct drug/pill when it is time. (And part of the app would help the person load up the dispenser when it was time to do that.) But on the other hand, much of the older population that you would be targeting with this app and device would not be conversant with smartphones or even computers, so that would limit how much market penetration you could get using the smartphone paradigm.

    So I guess I'd encourage you to consider making it a little bigger and easier to read/use for older folks. Sketch up all of the parts that go into it, and come up with the corresponding bill of materials (BOM).
  9. Oct 22, 2011 #8
    Thanks Berkman! I will let you all know how it goes after we submit our final project. I also found an article that was able to measure adherence rates by notification type so I think I will try to work that in to the section as well. I broke the BOM down to:

    The size of this unit: 6-7inch Diameter. The width would be more than likely around 2.5-3inches

    1. Base (1, molded plastic)
    2. Compartments (1, molded plastic with 28 sections)
    3. Compartment Covers (28, molded plastic)
    4. Speaker/LED Faceplate (1, molded plastic to cover them)
    5. Protective Lid (1, molded plastic)
    6. Buttons(4)
    7. LED Display (1, 3in Length by 1-1.5 inch width, Rectangle shaped)
    8. LED Lights (4, these are for flashing to alert)
    9. Memory Board (1, make sure it can fit in the unit in the circle between the compartments)
    10. 28 micro switches (to alert if compartment cover has been opened)
    11. USB input (1)
    12. Power supply (1)
    13. Lithium Ion Battery (1)
    14. Speaker (1, about 1.5inch Diameter)
    15. Rheostat for volume control (1)

    Thanks again for the insight,
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