Published: Dec. 3, 2014

MSU students create 'point-of-sale' grocery cart

Contact(s): Tom Oswald Communications and Brand Strategy, Patricia Mroczek College of Engineering office: (517) 432-1303

A grocery cart that could streamline shopping and a new kind of insulin pump that is useable by the blind are among the projects to be on display at Friday’s Michigan State University College of Engineering’s Design Day.

The biannual event begins at 8 a.m. in the Engineering Building, showcasing more than 100 projects that not only offer an educational experience for the students, but benefit people and businesses throughout the region and beyond.

A total of 101 teams, composed of 470 students, will participate in Design Day, which marks its 21st year.

One MSU team has developed a “point-of-sale” grocery cart that will make the shopping experience easier for consumers and less expensive for stores.

This new system allows the buyer to scan a product on his or her smartphone before placing it into the cart. When the shopping is completed, the consumer can then use a smartphone to pay, thus avoiding the sometimes long lines at a grocery store.

The system is equipped with a feature that confirms that the product scanned is the one placed in the cart. There also is an alarm system that lets the store know if a buyer is leaving the premises with an unscanned item.

Another MSU team has designed an insulin pump that can be used by the blind. Because nearly 40 percent of diagnosed diabetics have a form of diabetic retinopathy, which can lead to decreased vision and, eventually, blindness, there is a need for a pump that can communicate its data to someone who can’t readily read a screen.

This team has designed a case that will surround the Snap brand insulin pump. Using a text-to-speech integrated circuit, the case will allow users to plug in their headphones and listen to their insulin pump.

In addition, nearly 150 Michigan precollege students also will visit the campus during the day to take part in Design Day activities.

Award ceremonies are at 1:15 p.m. Friday in 1281 Anthony Hall, located on the east end of the Engineering Building.

Design Day’s executive partner sponsor is Bosch, while Whirlpool is the Design Day directing partner sponsor.

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