The Voice Cap
Full Invention Name:
Voice-Activated Mechanism for Opening and Closing a Child-Resistant Safety Cap
Nostalgia for Infinity
Nostalgia for Infinity is an independent First Lego League team composed of ten 5th and 6th grade students at The Westminster Schools in Atlanta, GA. Like all FLL teams, we have been working to improve the quality of life for senior citizens by helping them be more independent, engaged and connected in their communities. Our senior partner is 81 years old and very independent. However, she does have trouble opening containers, particularly if they have childproof caps. We understand that this is a problem that many seniors share. We have chosen to study ways to make containers, such as medicine bottles, more accessible to senior citizens. Our team name comes from a science fiction novel. Nostalgia for Infinity is the name of a space ship in Alistair Reynolds's novel Revelation Space. We thought it was appropriate for this challenge, plus it sounded really cool.
Brief Submission Description:
Childproof safety caps protect young children from dangerous medicines and consumer products, such as cleaning solutions. There are established standards for childproof caps that help ensure their effectiveness. The problem is that childproof caps are difficult for some seniors to use. Our invention is a voice-activated mechanism to control a childproof cap. The Voice Cap is a traditional childproof cap with an embedded voice recognition chip. A senior could record a voice password by pressing a button on the underside of the cap. The password could be the name of the medicine. To open the Voice Cap, the senior would say the password, and the ridges in the cap that provide child protection would loosen, allowing the cap to the easily opened. To relock the Voice Cap, the senior would simply say, “close.” Other adults could open the cap manually, such as by using the traditional “push-in-and-turn” technique. Our Voice Caps could also be reprogrammed or recycled.