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I have recently learned “Use Case” technique from Software Engineering Module and I think the best way of learning is to practice it. I also find it very applicable in the process of doing this project as the Pill Dispenser is an user-interaction intensive application. User scenarios have to be depicted clearly and all forms of interactions have to be considered carefully. The following shows the Use Case scenario and the Use Case description.

Use Case Scenario:

DispensePill refers to the following process in SmartPill system:

  • SmartPill System initiates an alarm to indicate that it is the time to take medicine
  • The patient (user) stands in front of the Pill Dispenser and allows the camera attached to it to detect him or her.
  • Once detected, the alarm is deactivated.
  • SmartPill System dispense correct dosage of pills into the container.
  • SmartPill System senses for glass at the water dispensing area. If sensed, it dispenses warm water. If not sensed, it shows a notification by turning on a red LED light.
  • Notification will be turned off when a glass is sensed at the next round.
  • SmartPill System will send a “tweet” to private twitter account accessible by the patient’s guardian. This also applies to cases where the patient is not detected or the glass is not detected.

Use Case: DispensePill

Primary Actor: SmartPill Dispenser(the pill dispenser)

Goal in Context: To dispense the pills and water when it reaches the schedule at patient’s presence.

Preconditions: Pills are loaded into the dispenser and the system is set to Normal Mode.

Trigger: The schedule is reached and the patient is detected.


  1. SmartPill Dispenser: activates alarm
  2. SmartPill Dispenser: detects patient using camera
  3. SmartPill Dispenser: deactivates alarm
  4. SmartPill Dispenser: dispense pills and warm water
  5. SmartPill System: sends a “tweet” to twitter


  1. Patient is not at home: deactivate alarm after 10 minutes and send a “tweet” to twitter.
  2. Glass not detected: display a notification with red LED light and send a “tweet” to twitter.
  3. No pill is loaded: display a notification with red LED light (different from Exception #2) and send a “tweet” to twitter.
  4. Travel/Backup Mode is selected: will not dispense pills and water but send a “tweet” to twitter. (possible: send a reminder to mobile phone)

Priority: Essential

When available: First increment

Frequency of use: Many times a day

Channel to actor: sensor

Open issue:

  1. How should a patient be notified/reminded when it is in Travel/Backup Mode?
  2. Should there be a display panel?
  3. How can the water be dispense at a suitable temperature?