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Kids Build Pill Dispenser To Win Raspberry Pi Award

samzenpus posted about a year ago | from the take-four-red-capsules dept.

Education 29

judgecorp writes "The first Raspberry Pi Awards have picked the best projects built by schoolchildren using the Raspberry Pi. The winners included a team of 8 to 11 year olds, who built a door-answering machine for elderly or disabled people, and a team of 12 to 16 year olds, who made an automated pill dispenser for forgetful patients. Other categories included adults, who built a wireless home power consumption system."

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Better links (5, Informative)

kryzx (178628) | about a year ago | (#43243399)

fucking children (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43243633)

little shits are taking over, need to be put back in their place

Actual link to a project (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43246681)

Here's the website of the team that built the electric monitor. This is what I care about - not some blurb saying that they won...


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43243417)

If not E then PI ?? PEZ ?? RU486 ??


Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43243559)

PEZ -> Roofie -> RU486

Wireless power consumption system? (5, Funny)

PTBarnum (233319) | about a year ago | (#43243493)

A wireless device that consumes power? What an original invention!

Re:Wireless power consumption system? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43245713)

They can expect a call from Apple's lawyers soon, there are at least a dozen patents violated from that.

I think you a word (4, Insightful)

dissy (172727) | about a year ago | (#43243547)

Other categories included adults, who built a wireless home power consumption system."

That's nothing, I've built a whole ton of power consumption systems in my time!

Of course, what the adult winners built was a home power consumption MONITORING system, which is a tiny bit different.

What! No porn, cats, or warez? (2)

plopez (54068) | about a year ago | (#43243621)

Seriously, these are some good ideas. The young always seem to be open thinkers. Helping save energy, help the old, and the disabled. That's what tech should be for first and foremost. Possibly helping the starving as well.

Re:What! No porn, cats, or warez? (1)

Artea (2527062) | about a year ago | (#43243929)

But is it about being environmentally friendly, or saving a few bucks on the power bill? Kids are all for saving the world and helping others, full of optimism! br?But as they grow older, perhaps the ultimate goes is that it's all about the money. Perhaps I'm just cynical?

Re:What! No porn, cats, or warez? (4, Insightful)

lxs (131946) | about a year ago | (#43244461)

But is it about being environmentally friendly, or saving a few bucks on the power bill?

Does it matter if the end result is the same?

Re:What! No porn, cats, or warez? (1)

xclr8r (658786) | about a year ago | (#43245343)

Short term no. Long term yes.

Re:What! No porn, cats, or warez? (1)

dywolf (2673597) | about a year ago | (#43245001)

i know right? i feel so bad now. here they are helping people.. ..and my project is adding an anti-squirrel/annoying neighbor pellet gun turret to an octocopter.

Re:What! No porn, cats, or warez? (1)

RicktheBrick (588466) | about a year ago | (#43245527)

As for the doorbell system, what are the probabilities that the device to send a text message will be closer than the door itself? Forget doorbells all together. If someone wants to see me let them bring a cell phone. The cell phone would have to be able to remotely get the number to dial so that your house did not give your cell phone number to everyone. Than one would be able to answer even if they were not home. This would mean than any door to door salesperson would be able to contact you even if you are not home but caller id should be able to screen most of them out.

Dubious (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about a year ago | (#43243953)

I've taught kids electronics and programming using the pi and they are mostly thick as two short planks. Yes, the kids might have assembled these projects - but I find it very unlikely they actually designed them, or did more than a very little programming.

Re:Dubious (4, Insightful)

JaredOfEuropa (526365) | about a year ago | (#43244197)

The average kid might lack the smarts or the interest to do these projects, but there are plenty of individuals in those age groups who are able to come up with stuff like this, design it, then build and program it. It won't following engineering standards, be bug free, and might not even work very well in general, but that's not the point of this competition.

Re:Dubious (1)

houghi (78078) | about a year ago | (#43249601)

but there are plenty of individuals in those age groups who are able to come up with stuff like this, design it, then build and program it.

I am upset as anybody that not all kids can do this. No kid left behind, remember? So these kids must wait for all the others to either catch up or at least stopping offending the children by showing they can do something others can't.
Should happen with everything (except sports where there are only winners and loosers and the loosers are worth nothing and should know it.)

Re:Dubious (2)

icebraining (1313345) | about a year ago | (#43244241)

Well, the "thickness" distribution would have to be very odd not to account for some exceptions.

In my opinion, kids aren't much dumber than adults, they just have assimilated less stuff. That can be bad (less useful knowledge) or good (less prejudices).

But in any case, have you tried teaching average adults to program? Because you might start finding difficult to believe that anyone can program ;)

Interresting trend (3, Interesting)

mwvdlee (775178) | about a year ago | (#43244489)

I find it interresting that the younger the contestants were, the more practically usable their inventions were.

The Source (1)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43244713)

Where is the Sourcecode ? Are they teaching closed-source at British Schools ?

Pez Dispenser (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43244779)

Why would you need a Raspberry Pi to build a Pez dispenser?

Congratulations on the ingenuity of the winners!

Re:Pez Dispenser (2)

GauteL (29207) | about a year ago | (#43246655)

Why would you need a Raspberry Pi to build a Pez dispenser?

Congratulations on the ingenuity of the winners!

It is more like a Pez dispenser which will only dispense candy N times a day, where N is programmable through a website, and will alert the user with an alarm and flashing light when the dispenser is ready to dispense another sweet. And even better, will alert a family member via email if the sweet has not been removed from the machine within a reasonable time frame.

Likely headline: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about a year ago | (#43244857)

Raspberry Pi gets kids into drugs!

Suspended yet? (4, Funny)

EvilSS (557649) | about a year ago | (#43244941)

So has the school of the pill dispenser team suspended them yet under a zero tolerance drug policy?

Joke post (1)

Sigvatr (1207234) | about a year ago | (#43246419)

Need a dispenser here... need a dispenser here... need a dispenser here.

Raspberry awards? (1)

jadv (1437949) | about a year ago | (#43247037)

So, winning a raspberry award is within the reach of a group of schoolchildren? By looking at Hollywood, you would think it takes a budget of hundreds of millions of dollars to earn one! The movies that usually get them don't come cheap, you know!

I was about to be a troll, but... (1)

ggraham412 (1492023) | about a year ago | (#43247103)

Kudo to these kids for learning how to build something useful out of (technologically advanced) parts!

I think the kids got a taste of what product development is like, as much as you can get in a few weeks in a pre-college school scenario anyway. But real product development is hard, and the reasons why it is hard are also hard to teach. You have to be able to get out and talk to people who would be future users of your product, and distill down to something that would actually be of service to them, and not just solving a problem that you personally imagine would be a great service to them.

I don't want to be overly critical of a school project which looks like it was carried out very well. But I would add to the curriculum: In real life, make sure you are solving a real problem and not just a fancy hammer for the nail you are imagining. And make sure your solution doesn't introduce new problems as side effects to solving an existing problem.

As someone who is in charge of dispensing medication to my elderly mother, I can tell you that having pills automagically appear at the right time is about 5% of my problem. My main problems are staggered refill schedules for four different medications on 30 day supplies, prescriptions that run out of refills and have to be re-prescribed several times during the year, making sure she actually takes the medicine and doesn't hoard it for later "because she feels pretty good now", having a secure distribution system that she can't break into and otherwise hoard the medication, and locating her within the 50,000 square feet of maze-y retirement home when its time for medication. Furthermore, the Raspberry Pi device comes along with a maintenance load, ie- I still have to go there regularly to fill the device, albeit I do that now with a day-of-the-week pill box. Plus it also is under power and so has to be plugged in somewhere. It can lose power, or it can lose internet connectivity, and presumably would generate warnings in addition to the warnings about medicine left in the dispenser. But this all just turns regularly scheduled visits into other randomly scheduled visits.

Lawsuits ensue (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | about a year ago | (#43249713)

Can't wait to see the first news story about a kid taking a pill from "Grandpa's automated pill dispenser" and dying from it. Countdown to suits starts now.

.... and then.... (1)

TheCarp (96830) | about a year ago | (#43249919)

And then they were suspended from school for bringing a pill dispenser, which could contain drugs, onto school property.

No drugs were found in the dispenser, but school officials are defending their decision, along with the decision to suspend their classmate when, upon hearing the news, made a gun with his fingers and said "they got em good".

Guns and drugs are banned on school property.

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