Product functionality

Lately I’ve been spending a considerable amount of time thinking about Medicrate’s functionality and the different electronic components I will need to include in the product to make it operational. I first referred back to some of the user research I conducted last semester and began to explore all of the different functionalities I could add to the product which would benefit the user. I then began to map out some of these core functions and more conceptual ideas in a mind map.


I then used this mind map to help me figure out all of the different electronic components I required in the product and settled on the list below -  

Arduino Nano:

-          The microcontroller that will act as the “brains” of the device.

-          It is the core component which is used to control all the other components in the device.


Stepper motor:

-          Used to carry out the dispensing of the medication by rotating the medication trays.

-          Needs to be as small as possible as it dictates the size of the motor knob and the hole in the centre of the medication trays.

-          Needs to run off 5v as it is the maximum output of microlipo.


Motor driver:

-          Required to power the stepper motor.

-          Works by receiving signals from the microcontroller and sending them on to the stepper motor.


Oled display:

-          Used display the products UI.

-          This will allow users to view different pieces of information regarding their medication.



-          Three buttons will be used to navigate the systems UI.

-          Their layout can be seen in the image below. - *INSERT IMAGE OF THE BUTTON LAYOUT*



-          Will be used in the dispensing area of the product.

-          Used to indicate to users that medication has been dispensed.


Fingerprint scanner:

-          Used as a security measure to verify that the it is the correct person using the device.

-          Prevents unwanted users (children) from tampering with the product.


Real-time clock module (RTC):

-          Key component in the product.

-          operates by keeping the time in the product even when the device is unpowered (meaning that the time on the device doesn’t need to be reset every time it is turned on).

-          Enables the schedule functionality in the product which will remind the user when to take their medication.


WIFI transceiver:

-          Allows the product to connect to the internet enabling the device to send reminders to other devices like phones or iot devices.

-          In future versions of the product this feature would allow the product to be linked to a companion app or send notifications to pharmacists or carers whenever medication is running low or a dosage has been missed.



-          Acts as one of the alerts in the product which will activate when it is time dispense medication.



-          Required to make Medicrate portable.

-          Operates by supplying power to the different components even when the device is unplugged.



-          Works in conjunction with the battery and allows users to recharge the device by plugging in a micro USB cable into the microlipo.

-          Also converts the battery’s 3.7V output into a 5V output, enabling the stepper motor to work at its full efficiency.


My next steps will be wiring up all these individual components and writing the code to make the device operational. If you want to find out more about this or the rest of my design process, then keep up to date with my blog posts.