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SMEFA-Shopping Made Effortless for All

SMEFA is a smart-scan shopping cart designed to enhance a user’s shopping experience making it much more efficient and convenient inclusively using Arduino and Spring-linkage mechanism.

What it does

SMEFA's smart scan cart optimizes shopping by avoiding manual evaluation,reduces wait time by avoiding queues ensuring allergen safety and counting calories.It's innovative design simplifies the entire process and assist physically challenged in shopping.

Your inspiration

The inspiration stemmed from several observations and challenges faced during regular grocery shopping.As a frequent shopper, I noticed that the process could be time-consuming especially when involves checking for allergens,making payments,waiting in long queues and challenges faced by physically disabled.Additionally, people following specific diets often struggled to find products that fit their dietary requirements due to the time-consuming task of checking calories.To solve these issues,idea of smart scan shopping cart emerged which offers inclusive shopping experience.This would benefit all shoppers,regardless of their individual needs.

How it works

This design's working is as follows, the sensors mentioned below are linked to arduino uno. Firstly, the user scans a product using a barcode scanner then places it into the cart where its weight is detected by a load sensor, if it detects an unscanned product in the cart for 10 seconds, handlebar vibrates due to the vibration motor. The scanned products data are transmitted to the SMEFA app via ESP32 chip (QR code). The app displays the product details (price, calories and allergens) before moving to the final payment using credit card info input initially. The LCD display also displays product details. Presence of allergens displays a red RGB light, or else green RGB lights up. As the user adds/removes an object to/from cart, the cart moves downwards/upwards respectively using spring-linkage mechanism. For handicapped users, Wheelchair can be attached to the cart and they can continue shopping easily using the sliding doors to add/remove products to the cart.

Design process

The cart was designed with consideration for wheelchair users and the cart's leg position was adjusted to match the position of a wheelchair's front wheels. The inner carrier of the cart was initially going to be raised using a manual scissor lift. However, due to the base plate's existence, this proved to be problematic and drastically decreased leg room for users with impairments. With the aid of Extension springs, Links, and L-clamps, a structure was developed that provides unlimited leg room and effortless, automated lifting of the basket. Motor powered, and pneumatic cylinders were not considered due to its high cost.The spring system was first tested with acrylic links. However, while testing it was found to sway while adding items to the basket leading to use of stainless steel links for stability. 4 more rods were added to further boost the stability of the baskets during lifting. Products are entered into a database, and if a barcode is scanned, a check is done to see if the item contains any allergens.On the box ,a LCD screen placed shows all pertinent information. Weight sensors and vibrator motors are utilized to find products that are not being scanned.Additionally, a push button is included adjacent to the LCD to delete an item.

How it is different

The reasons why this cart is better than the regular and smart shopping cart are as follows, firstly, its inclusive structural design proves to be beneficial for both physically disabled users and others, then issues faced due to long queue times while shopping are reduced using this design via the app payment system. Healthwise, this cart is beneficial as it displays the calories and allergens of the product scanned from the barcode sensor. Its compact size enables it to maneuver through small spaces. The unique cart design enables the cart to reciprocate upwards/downwards hence using less space, it can carry higher loads and makes lifting load easier as cart moves up while load is being removed. Weight wise, it is lesser than the others, with a size of 140L, weighing only 9kg whereas regulars cart stores 60L weighing 9.5kg. Also, via Arduino, unscanned products are detected by inducing vibrations on the cart’s handle using a vibration motor and load sensor.

Future plans

The subsequent stages will focus automation, weight reduction, side bags, biometric payment, stacking, and portability. Through the use of motors and sensors, we aim to enhance the shopping cart's autonomy. Weight reduction will increase mobility without weakening it. Integration of biometric payments does not require extra hardware. Stacking makes easier for shopping malls to arrange the carts in limited space. Additionally, mechanism will be foldable to make it portable. Our completely automated, portable, and adaptable smart scan cart will transform the shopping experience while also taking into account evolving customer demands.


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