An easy-to-use pill dispenser
- Portable, battery-free dispense with a flawless mechanism
- First batch in production
In a nutshell
The development of a portable, battery-free dispenser with a flawless mechanism which would also function as an instant ambassador for the whole Bodhi story.
The full story
‘Top up your health’. With these words, Laurens Siroux and Laurens Vanpoucke announced the creation of Bodhi. The duo also recently launched their new website where they explain the concept behind their start-up: On the one hand, it’s a pill with the most important micro-nutrients. On the other, it’s also an innovation in terms of how people deal with an everyday routine. The solution for this issue was a dedicated pill dispenser. It had to be a portable, battery-free dispenser with a flawless mechanism which would also function as an instant ambassador for the whole Bodhi story. For this development, they knew they could count on Comate.
A healthy lifestyle with extra micro-nutrients
Together with the doctor and specialist from Healthitude, Laurens Siroux and Laurens Vanpoucke have developed a pill which contains all of the most important micro-nutrients. They called upon Comate to support the development of the pill dispenser. Laurens Siroux: ‘Nutritional supplements currently have a dull, commercial image. I hope that Bodhi will change that with this dispenser. We’re trying to make health cool and sexy.’
Engineers and designers in one team
The duo behind Bodhi decided to progress the development in collaboration with Comate. ‘For me, it was the first time I had taken on the challenge of developing a physical product. Working with an experienced team meant we could reduce the risks considerably. There was a lower risk of errors and time-wasting, and the extensive experience of the Comate team meant we knew which suppliers were reliable’, says Laurens Siroux. ‘We could rely on good supervision and gained an ever-clearer overview of the next steps to be taken’. The combination of engineers and designers in one team allowed Comate to consider practicality issues, a smart mechanical system and also the required look & feel, user-friendliness and styling.
A pill dispenser can work in a thousand different ways and come in a variety of designs. The analysis phase served to create direction for the project and create a clearly defined concept. It is vital to choose the right concept, which offers the best chance of success in the market. Comate specialises in this selection. Using several cardboard prototypes, foam models and 3D-prints, the concept was visualised quickly and in a cost-friendly manner, and Laurens Siroux and Laurens Vanpoucke could provide direct feedback.
The various iterations take place in a cost-friendly way, using various models made out of card and foam, and then testing basic functionality. You then move onto 3D prints to evaluate further functionality.
The Comate design differs from other pill dispensers in various ways. The available systems often involve extensive electronics however this dispenser is purely mechanical which significantly reduces the chance of failures. Bodhi’s dispenser can also hold 35 pills, without having to sort them for each day. This was one of the design challenges. The unoriented pills had to be organised in such manner that a press of the button would push out just 1 pill from the dispenser.
Once the design was more refined, Comate moved onto system design. At this point, the first functional prototypes were made to carry out testing. Working with prototypes means iteration. When developing and creating new products, it is important to constantly test and improve the system in order to come up with the best possible result.
The mechanical system was further refined and elaborated during the industrial design phase. The technical development stage has to take the desired design into account. This often imposes a range of limitations. The dispenser, for example, should fit in your hand easily so the size of the device had to be limited. Styling was even more important. ‘The styling bar was set high’, explains Laurens Siroux. ‘The Bodhi dispenser had to be ‘Instagram-worhty’ and good enough to sit in the kitchen, next to the Nespresso machine for example. Comate immediately understood and raised the bar too. As far as I’m concerned it’s ‘mission accomplished’. I absolutely love the end result!’
The last stage in the process was the industrialisation of the pill dispenser. In this phase, it was important to select the best materials and production techniques, on the basis of quantities, the desired COGS (Cost of Goods) and the future vision. There were still a few trade-offs that had to be made. It was then crucial to find the right production supplier who could cope with the requirements and also deliver the expected quality. The necessary files were supplied, the most suitable suppliers were selected and Bodhi’s dispenser was ready for production. Together with the Comate team, the production of the first batch of 500 items began.
You can buy the Bodhi dispenser via their website. Their future plans? ‘There are certainly other variants and expansions which could apply to the dispenser’, explains Laurens Siroux. ‘I am already looking into these with Comate.’
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