UT ECE undergraduates Jackie Leverett and Zach Wasson recently received attention from Popular Science Online for their entry in the Texas Instruments Beagle Board Open Source Design Challenge. Their project, called Project Smart Pill Box, is a visual verification system that utilizes face detection and primitive hand tracking to ensure that patients with memory pathologies, such as Alzheimer’s, successfully take their medications. Their Smart Pill Box can be used as an alarm, but unlike conventional pill minders on the market today, the prototype requires visual proof of a patient taking pills out of the box and lifting them up to their mouths. This would prevent patients from getting distracted while taking their medicine, which could result in skipping a dose or accidentally taking it twice.
The Beagle Board Open Source Challenge from Texas Instruments (TI) is a contest that offers University of Texas at Austin (UT) students the opportunity to implement an innovative idea on an ARM Cortex-A8 processor-based system in the form of a practical application. Students will be given some mentorship assistance by TI engineers as well as learning to interact with other developers in the open source community that has gathered around the BeagleBoard. Each team entered in the challenge will also receive a free BeagleBoard and a chance at some great prizes, co-op/full-time positions at TI, and notoriety in some of the most popular online publications. Students will also be able to grow their open source reputation by releasing their sources for the use and benefit of all.
The winners of the competition are decided by popular vote, and voting can be done online until February 10th.