Ask any consumer electronics person and they’d tell you how big a deal it is to work on anything to do with Intel. At least it was so for me. So when Intel announced its first hackathon in India, I saw it as my gateway into Intel itself.
The idea for the hackathon came from a friend. During one of our conversation, he began talking about his grand mother. His grandmother had amnesia and consequently, she never was consuming her medicines.
Because of this her medical condition had only been getting worse. My friend couldn’t really help the situation although her wanted to because he stays away from his parents due to professional reasons.
That left me thinking turning the tech mode on, in my brain. How can his grandmother be given medicine on time? What will help her condition? After considerable thought, I came up with the idea of a smart pillbox to deliver the pill based on the prescription thereby avoiding under dosage or over dosage of medication.
With this idea, I applied for the Intel hackathon and was selected. I got selected to be a part of Intel’s first hackathon in India. That wasn’t a small deal for me. I was elated. I had moved another step closer to living my dream.
I found my project partner at Intel’s networking event and we got to work. We began with a small survey conducted among 50 senior citizens and their children to better understand the different features required for such a device.
While I worked on the hardware part of the device, my partner took care of the software.
· I built the pill dispenser using a small box.
· This box was fitted with a small 3D printed tube filled with tablets
· This tube is fitted with a servo to give an actuating mechanism to push the tablet out.
We then created a cloud compatible webserver running on the board to enter the details of the prescription like total number of tablets and time. This was then updated to the board.
When the server is started the data enters the dashboard and is updated to the board. Based on the time duration, Servo motors will be actuated to push the tablets out of the system. It will also be updated in the server where doctors can closely monitor their patient’s medicine intake, thereby help in better treatment of the patient.
But serious glitch that we faced in building the prototype was in modeling the 3D printed parts. It was our first experience with 3D printing. But we eventually managed to do it. It was time to demo to the judge. With fingers crossed, we demo-ed our device to the judge.
Out of the 50 odd shortlisted ideas from 100s of entries for INTEL’S FIRST HACKATHON IN INDIA, our project was shortlisted as one of the Top Hacks.
Getting into the Top 10 was something surreal to me. I was only a step short of winning it. But no I didn’t win it! I won’t lie about the disappointment. I briefly saw it as the end of the world. Of course, it came with it’s own set of lessons. I realised that the exposure I had and
the network I got connected to, was priceless. So were the list of don’ts the next time I build a device for a hackathon!