The Cup

The cup is a smart monitoring device used for measuring the amount of liquid consumed by patients through the mouth.

Main features of the cup.

  • Cup measures the amount of liquid consumed from it using 4 sensors
    • Liquid level sensor
    • Temperature sensor
    • Color sensor
    • Accelerometer
  • Wireless data transfer so there is no need to connect the device physically to a reader
  • Wireless charging which improves device hygiene.
  • Battery powered, using lithium ion batteries. The average runtime between charges is a minimum of one week depending on the usage patterns.
  • Stores results to MYSQL database .
  • Results are displayed in HTML UI and can be viewed with any web browser.

Device monitors the patients' liquid consumption using four main sensors. The level, color and temperature of the liquid and the acceleration of how fast the liquid is consumed. The accelerometer also allows us to check if the patient has actually drunk the liquid or thrown it away by analyzing the accelerometer readings. If the accelerometer data indicates the patients hasn’t drank the liquid, we can raise an alarm which informs the nurses of the event. The device takes the form of a cup holder placed around the patients existing cup. This enables the patients to use existing cups with the new devices in essence transforming the current cups into smart cups.

The device.
The device.

The device is split into two sections; upper half and the lower half. The upper half of the device is used for holding in the user’s cup.  This part is removable to allow for easier cleaning, the lower half of the device contains the electronics of the device. Two-part construction also allows the cup shape to be changed by simply changing the upper half of the device. For example, you can have a coffee cup shaped upper half with one device and a milk mug with the second device. With two devices you also allow the user to choose between from where they like to consume the liquid. This makes the device more likely to be used when it looks familiar to the user and they don’t have to learn anything new.

How the data from the cup shows in a chart
How the data from the cup shows in a chart.

The device works wirelessly over a IEEE 802.15.4 radio with 6lowpan interface. With this interface the device sends the collected data to the main server which records the results. We use this information to determine the hydration level of the patient. The collected data can be send over via internet to be shown anywhere so it’s not tied to the immediate vicinity of the patient. With our system we improve the current practices by allowing the separation of monitoring the patient from the actual nursing care. In the end the goal is to automatize as much of the monitoring as we can to allow the caregivers to focus on more important tasks which only humans can provide.

The device is charged wirelessly using Qi-compatible charging system. Using wireless charging allows us to make the device totally waterproof so it can be in the future washed in a washing machine. User simply places the device on top of a wireless charging plate and the device starts charging. The expected minimum battery life for the device is one week.

assemblyTo use the device user places the top half of the device on top of the bottom half. The bottom part has 4 locking pins which ensure it can only be inserted into one position. After insertion the bottom half is twisted until it locks into place. After that the user places their cup on the device and it automatically records the results.