Document Type


Date of Award

Summer 8-31-2006

Degree Name

Master of Science in Computer Engineering - (M.S.)


Electrical and Computer Engineering

First Advisor

Constantine N. Manikopoulos

Second Advisor

Quentin Jones

Third Advisor

Swades K. De


There are many devices on the market to help remind patients to take their pills, but most require observation by a caregiver to assure medication compliance. This project demonstrates three modes to detect pill removal from a pillbox: a switch under the pills, a reflective type photointerrupter and a transmissive "electric eye" photosensor. Each mode exhibited blind spots or other failures to detect pill presence, but by combining modes with complementary characteristics, the accuracy of pill detection is greatly increased.

Two methods of caregiver notification are demonstrated: text messages transmitted via an attached cellular phone, or the status is collected by a PC which provides an audit trail and daily notification if no pills were taken.