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I am a DIY enthusiast playing with different sensors and electronics.

Recently I've been trying to make a pill box for my grandparents to track their medicine intake. However, I cannot determine what type of sensor can help me do that.

This company called adheretech claims they can detect how many pills are taken from the bottle but it is not clear how they did it.

I have considered things like weight sensors (which is too big for small bottle) and force sensors which doesn't seen accurate enough to detect pill use?

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  • \$\begingroup\$ I worked on a small project making a device like this. We measured the weight of the bottle. There are definitely sensors small and precise enough for this kind of application. Think about the kind of devices the pharmaceutical company uses to measure and do QA on the produced pills? \$\endgroup\$ – whatsisname Jul 29 '15 at 5:03
  • \$\begingroup\$ I found a patent by adheretech and it does seems to point towards some kind of weight sensor (freepatentsonline.com/8754769.html). It looks like they designed a custom load cell. It also describes some kind of platform that raises and lowers which doesn't seem practical given the size of it. Anyway, building such a weight sensor system is beyond my capabilities at home! \$\endgroup\$ – MicroApper Aug 17 '15 at 1:42
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Maybe adheretech uses a simple IR sensor which counts the number of pills coming out of the box. It won't be that difficult actually. You could make the hole from which the pills come out such that only one comes out at a time and then put an IR sensor which gives you a +1 count whenever there's an interference in it's sensing range. This way you could count the number of pills coming out of the box.

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