I had a rough idea on how my pill dispenser should work but the detailed mechanism was not finalized yet. I spent the whole last night and this morning brainstorming different hardware designs and the dispensing mechanism. After doing some research online, I managed to identify a few mechanisms that people has adopted for their pill dispenser.
1. The pills are separated into different compartments manually according to the prescription. These compartments will be rotated t an opening where user can tilt the dispenser to take out the medicine. In this case, the dispenser is small and portable. A tipper can be used to assist the user to get the pills out.
2. Vacuum fan and suction tube. The pills are separated according to the pill types instead of the prescription. A suction tube is used to pick a pill up. This is rather complicated and I think it is beyond my capability to do it alone within the time constraint of this project.
3. Rotate the pills into a trap hole.
There are a few things to consider when doing the design.
1. different size of the pill
2. different shape of the pill
3. different orientation of the pill
4. will the pill get stuck?
5. how to ensure the pill will get dispensed properly?
The designs are sketched out and go through a number of iterations. Will post up the sketches and iteration process soon.