SZ students develop pill box for the blind

Writer: Zhang Yu  |  Editor: Zhang Chanwen  |  From: Shenzhen Daily  |  Updated: 2023-04-07

An innovation team from Shenzhen Bao’an High School Group has invented a medicine box (pill box) to meet the medication needs of visually impaired individuals, Shenzhen Evening News reported Thursday.

So far, the palm-sized portable pill box has won many national awards, including first prize at the recently held International Artificial Intelligence Fair.

Students from Shenzhen Bao’an High School Group work on the design of a pill box to meet the medication needs of visually impaired individuals.

According to the school, a total of 12 students participated in the development and design of the box, which lasted nearly two years.

From market research, box design, copywriting, physical hardware production to app software development, the project was independently promoted by the students throughout the entire process under the guidance of their mentor, Zheng Naihao.

The idea of the pill box came from a field visit. In September 2021, Zheng and his students visited a massage salon that employed the blind or visually impaired people near the school during their lunch break.

One of the project’s core student members, Xu Yue, recalled that after observing the living conditions of visually impaired individuals, he found that they could only distinguish medicines by touch.

After the visit, the students began to pay attention to the lives of the visually impaired and decided to try designing a product that could reduce the risk of medication errors for these people.

Developing an ideal product was not easy. It was not only necessary to clarify user needs and the pain points, but also to turn ideas into feasible ones.

“The team had come up with many solutions, including medicine cups and chests. Some students even thought of using artificial intelligence to identify drugs, but the idea was ruled out due to difficulties,” project leader Li Mingyuan said.

After ruling out the difficult solutions, the team held discussions lasting nearly three months and finally decided to develop a pill box using open-source hardware and speech recognition technology.

The pill box they designed has won many national awards. Shenzhen Evening News

To overcome the technical difficulties in the product development process, Li and his team members used their spare time to learn knowledge beyond textbooks. “There were too many details involved from design drawings to actual production, such as hardware design and assembly, welding circuit boards, and app design and development,” Li told the News.

After more than half a year of learning and improvement, Li and his team members created the first-generation pill box in December 2021. After three months, the second-generation kit was updated. Six months later, the third generation came out.