Automated Grocery List


The main objective of this project was to assist the user for the grocery list. The list is generated using the weight sensor based container and TFT touchscreen to set up the container type. The list is also uploaded on the google spreadsheet, so that the user can access the grocery list from anywhere using internet connection.

Set Up:

Set up is very simple.

  1. Plug a power source into the Arduino Mega that controls the central hub. It works on USB or outlet power.
  2. Connect the container to a power source and turn the switch into the “On” position.

Container           Central Hub

Editing the food name:

The RFID allows you to use a standard container for any number of food items. In order to make the grocery list more accurately reflect the items you are currently storing, you can change the name of the food associated with each container.

  1. Go to the main menu on the touchscreen.
  2. Click on “Edit food name”
  3. Use the back and next buttons at the top to scroll to the container with the food name you want to edit. Then click “Choose a different food” at the bottom.
  4. There are 36 preloaded foods in 6 different categories. Click on the category with of the new food name.
  5. Then click on the name of the new food you want to associate with the container. If you made a mistake, click “Cancel” in the top right and start over.

Refill a container:

If you go to the supermarket and replenish the food you have in a container, then you will want to utilize the “Refill container” option. This option makes the current weight in the container the new starting value.

For example, you could start out with 5 apples in the container and then eat 2 of them. The grocery list will show that you currently are at 40%. However, if you go to the supermarket and buy 5 more apples, you would be at 7 total apples, but the grocery list would show you at 140%. In order to fix this, you have to tell the central hub that you just refilled the container.

  1. From the main menu on the touchscreen, click on “Refill Container.”
  2. Use the back and next buttons at the top to scroll to the container you wish to refill. Then click “Refill this container” at the bottom.

View Grocery List:

There are two different ways to view the grocery list, which shows the current items you are storing as well as the current weight and current percentage remaining relative to the starting weight.

TFT Display          Google Spreadsheet

View on Touchscreen:

  1. From the main menu on the touchscreen, click on “Grocery List.”
  2. Use the back and next buttons at the top to scroll to the container you wish to view. Click on “Home” at the top when you are done.

Main_Menu          Container1

View remotely:

Simply navigate to the google doc link on your computer, smartphone, tablet, or any other internet connected mobile device. On some devices, it might be better to view this in the “Google Drive” or “Google Sheets” App.

———————————————————– Maintenance Manual————————————————————————- 

We have carefully assessed the Maintenance Manual for the Remote Food Inventory Device. This document has been completed in accordance with the requirement of User, who will use the system for generating automatic grocery list.

Basic Maintenance:

Basic maintenance includes the following steps:

  • Make sure both the container and central hub lays on the flat surface, example kitchen platform.
  • The containers must be clean periodically with dry cloth to main the hygiene of the system.
  • Try to keep the containers and central hub in the cool and dry place
  • Make sure that the food items in the container does not rot, as the container may have perishable food items.

Maintenance of the containers:

The container is made up of Polypropylene plastic material which is safe to store food items with their original packaging. The support of the material is made up of quarter inch acrylic material. Following maintenance and safety tip will not only increase the overall life of the system but will also help in reducing false positive and false negative errors:

  • Make sure the food is kept in the original packing in the containers, as the plastic material of the container may contaminate the food.
  • Batteries of the container must be changed every 6 months so that the container remain functional all the time.
  • There should not be any liquid directly placed in the container.
  • In case of spill inside the container, immediately switch off the container and use dry cloth to wipe, once dry switch on the container.
  • Make sure to check the calibration (described in the next section) is right every time you switch off and switch back on the container.
  • Containers must not be clean using any of the liquid soap or water, as this may damage the circuitry.
  • Make the sure the container is always kept on a flat and dry surface, if the surface is uneven the weight reading might vary from the actual value.

Calibrating the container:

Weight sensors are made of material that are sensitive temperature and humidity change, so it is highly significant to calibrate the weight scale every 6 months, to calibrate the weight scale the steps of operation are:

  • Make sure the weight scale is calibrated properly, to ensure that the containers are getting the right weight value, take a standard digital or analog or spring balance, weigh the item, then place the item in the container and go to the central hub and make sure that the value of weight from the standard weight scale and the value displayed on the central hub screen are the same.
  • If the weight on the central hub screen and standard weight scale reading doesn’t match try to move either of the weight sensor i.e. the silver color metal pieces and then repeat the above step until both the values are matching

If the container weight is not calibrated after 5-10 attempts, try to switch on and the after 15-20 minutes restart the container using power switch.

Maintenance of the Central Hub:

Central hub is heart of the system and is the device where the user interaction is the most. Central hub mainly consist of a touchscreen for user assistance, a wifi chip to upload the data to cloud and an xbee for communicating with the containers. Following are the maintenence tips for the central hub:

  • Make sure that the screen on the central hub is clean, you can use any moisture wipes for electronic devices to clean the screen.
  • Cleaner the screen better will be the touch response without any delays.
  • Central hub must be kept in dry and at room temperature for longer life.
  • Central hub must be placed in a zone where the wifi signal strength is his, as the data on the cloud is uploaded using the same. Slower or low strength signal may lead to longer time for upload.
  • Central hub must be periodically synced with the google doc,so that there is no errornous readings.