An open source smart watch built for anxiety and panic disorder.

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'Minder' is an open source smart watch platform that is capable of monitoring the symptoms of a panic/anxiety attack and can provide the user with medically approved instructions and techniques to deal with the panic attack via an on-board OLED screen.

Minder aims to work in-conjunction with psychologists and trained professionals, acting as a supporting tool whereby psychologists can give my device to their patients for testing and to monitor their techniques and progress. It will also act as a useful tool for patients to learn how to use their coping techniques in a real world environment.

The Minder watch will incorporate medically approved psychological coping strategies and breathing techniques built into the device, thus improving the user's quality of life and ensuring that they feel safe and well prepared for a panic attack in-turn building hope for those suffering in silence.

The Challenge: 

Anxiety and panic disorder is a condition that affects millions of people around the world. Anxiety is the most common mental health condition in Australia (my country of origin) affecting on average 1 in 4 people in Australia alone. (Australian Bureau of statistics).

One of the major problems that anxiety and panic attack sufferers experience is difficulty in identifying the symptoms of a panic attack. Thus, being unable to identify and consequently ignoring the symptoms of a panic attack sufferers get trapped in an anxiety loop which eventually leads to a full-blown panic attack. Whilst experiencing a panic attack sufferers tend to forget their panic coping techniques, which leads to further anxiety and panic.   

How the project will solve the problem:

In-order to combat this cycle, anxiety and panic sufferers must be made aware of their symptoms before the onslaught of a panic attack. Further, during the panic attack itself sufferers must be reminded of their coping strategies and techniques in-order to efficiently and swiftly deal with their panic. The solution needs to be discrete and not draw too much attention to the user as this will create further anxiety.  

The minder watch provides the panic sufferer with medically approved psychological coping strategies and breathing techniques  that will greatly improve the user's quality of life ensuring that they feel safe and well prepared for a possible panic attack. 

How the project might be world changing:

Currently, anxiety and panic disorder sufferers must rely solely on the skills that they have learnt during therapy or from online medical resources. During a panic attack these skills are usually forgotten and in most cases sufferers find it hard to remember their learnt techniques. The minder watch will change this. Instead of having to rely on memory, my device will act as a 'psychologist on the wrist,' prompting the anxious user and providing them with a set of instructions on how best to deal with their anxiety. The minder watch will also recognise the symptoms of a panic attack, warning the user before the onslaught of a major panic attack.


Flow chart:

This flow chart visualizes the basic function of the watch, and how the anxiety coping strategies will aid the user during a panic attack.  

Anxiety techniques:

I programmed 4 different anti-anxiety techniques onto the minder smart watch. If the user finds that one technique is not working they can simply change to the next one until panic is completely dissipated. (note: each of these techniques are explained in further detail in the project log section).

The majority of these techniques utilise 'Cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT)' which is an internationally recognised anti-anxiety thearpy.  CBT hypothesises that how you think affects how you feel, and that your emotions influence your behaviour. Therefore by thinking realistic, helpful thoughts anxiety can be lowered. 

Technique 1: Deep breathing exercise

One of the most prominent symptoms of panic is hyperventilation which causes feelings of dizziness, light-headedness, poor concentration and shaking. To combat this, deep breathing exercises can be used to lower the symptoms of panic and restore a normal breathing rhythm. If a panic sufferer begins to use slow breathing as soon as they notice a panic attack then it will be most effective. Deep breathing can be performed in various different ways however it follows the common structure;

Technique 2: Body scan

The 'body scan' technique guides the user to ‘scan’ their body, making them focus on themselves rather than their thoughts. It will help the user block out their worrying thoughts and force them to be in the ‘here...

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Austin Marandos Design and technology Major work folio.docx

V1.0 This is the design folio of the minder watch that I created for my senior high school project. It contains a comprehensive and detailed account of all design features of the watch and how I created it. (note: The folio is structured based off the marking criteria for the Design and technology subject)

Microsoft Office - OOXML - Word Document - 43.60 MB - 04/23/2018 at 02:13


Minder_code_All Techniques but no settings.ino

V1.0 Arduino code for Minder smart watch containing all techniques (but no watch settings or menu)

ino - 3.45 kB - 04/21/2018 at 14:07


Minder_Code(Breathing only).ino

V1.0 Arduino code containing only breathing techniques and menu settings (due to the small storage space of the Qduino the entire code cannot be loaded onto the Qduino and needs to be split).

ino - 6.38 kB - 04/21/2018 at 14:06


Minder Watch Case.stl

V1.0 STL file for 3D printed watch case

Standard Tesselated Geometry - 185.63 kB - 04/21/2018 at 14:03


  • 1 × Qduino Mini V2 (Sparkfun) Cost: $29.95
  • 1 × Adafruit 500mah LiPo Cost: $7.95
  • 1 × DS3231 RTC Cost: $1.39
  • 1 × Pololu vibrating motor Cost: $4
  • 4 × Tactile buttons Cost: $2

View all 8 components

  • Human Computer Interface Challenge

    Austin Marandos07/21/2018 at 06:14 0 comments

    Since this challenge task is closely related to my project I thought I might write a few lines about how my project acts as an 'innovative interface for humans to talk to machines.'

    The minder smart watch at its core is a human computer interface. Simply put, it is a device that measures your body's current state and determines whether you are experiencing anxiety or panic, from there it provides the user with techniques and activities to lower their anxiety and panic. This is done through both visual and haptic feedback. 

    Minder attempts to make this process more natural and easy to use. By incorporating a simple design the watch draws little attention to the user allowing them to naturally activate the anti-anxiety mode. Further the use of visual techniques displayed on the large OLED screen makes this process much easier and clear.

  • Circuit Diagram

    Austin Marandos06/16/2018 at 15:10 0 comments

    I have finally created a clear circuit diagram using the Fritzing circuit creator software. I will add this to the instructions. Please note this is the circuit schematic for version 1 of the Minder smartwatch. Also some of the parts were unavailable on the software so I used generic boards to represent them (eg: OLED screen). 

    Also the RGB leds are already on the Qduino board, they need to be removed by de-soldering them off the board and delicately using small pliers to pull them off. Alternatively you could buy separate RGB leds, but why not use what's already there? : )  

  • Update

    Austin Marandos06/07/2018 at 05:48 0 comments

    Sorry for the lack activity, I am in the middle of finals at university and have not had time to work on the project. I will continue working on the project once finals are over next week. 

  • Heart rate sensor testing

    Austin Marandos04/23/2018 at 10:25 0 comments

    One of the main features and aims of the minder smart watch is to be able to detect a panic attack. One of the main symptoms of a panic attack is a sudden increase in heart rate. The positioning of the smart watch on the user's wrist meant that the only way to detect heart rate would be via readings from the user's wrist. In-order to calculate the accuracy of such a reading I tested heart rate readings from both the finger and wrist (since the Sparkfun sensor I used recommended readings from the finger over the wrist). I conducted the test using the  Sparkfun MAX30105 heart rate sensor.

    The readings were taken from the Arduino IDE serial monitor:

    MAX 30105 Test:

    Trial 1: Heart rate reading on finger

    Time (secs)BPM

    Trial 2: Heart rate reading on finger

    Time (secs)BPM


    Trial 1: Heart rate reading on wrist

    Time (secs)BPM

    Trial 2: Heart rate reading on wrist

    Time (secs)BPM


    Clearly the heart rate readings from the wrist are very inaccurate as opposed to the finger readings. This is a major issue as it does not enable the watch to take accurate heart rate readings and subsequently alert the user of an upcoming panic attack. After doing some further research wrist heart rate readings appear to be very inaccurate even when used by some of the most advanced smart watches on the market (such as Apple watch and fitbit) and therefore I will need to further develop my own heart rate monitoring system.

  • CAD development and 3D printing

    Austin Marandos04/23/2018 at 10:02 0 comments

    Once the final design was established I began to develop the 3D model using Solidworks.

    Isometric drawing:

    3D view

    I also created/downloaded the circuit components and ensured that they fitted into the watch:

    Once everything looked good it was time to print!

    **Note: I used both white and black PLA for all my prototype cases (I created many due to problems printing and imperfections). 

  • Electronics and pricing

    Austin Marandos04/22/2018 at 01:10 0 comments

    The electronics used for the minder smart watch were sourced from various different suppliers.

    1. OLED screen:  I choose a large 128X128 pixel OLED screen from the Australian electronics company Freetronics. I had used this screen in a previous smart watch project and it proved to be very versatile and reliable. (

    2. RTC module: for the RTC I decided on using the DS3231. This is mainly due to the fact that the arduino that I used for the project was rated at 3.3 volts. (

    3. Processor: For the main arduino board I used the Qduino mini V2 from Sparkfun. This board has a built in charging capability and also is very small allowing me to easily fit it into the 3D printed case.  (
    4. Battery: I used a 3.7V 500 mah Lipo battery from Adafruit to power the entire watch. (

    5.Heart rate sensor: For the heart rate sensor I used Sparkfun's MAX30105 board. This board also comes with other features other than the heart rate monitor such as; distance, particle detection and more. (

    5.Vibrating motor: To alert the user of a panic attack and for haptic feedback I used a small vibrating motor from Polulo (

    Image result for pololu vibrating motor

    The overall price of the electronics:

    ComponentPrice ($USD)Quantity
    Qduino $29.951
    Micro tactile buttons$0.504
    Freetronics OLED screen$38.371
    MAX30105 Sensor$12.951
    Micro vibrating motor$3.491
    Enameled copper wire$2.401
    Micro SD card (for OLED)$111
    TOTAL PRICE$98.66

  • How Minder is different?

    Austin Marandos04/21/2018 at 13:16 0 comments

    Something in common with current existing technologies is that they do not provide the user with coping strategies and instructions on how to deal with their panic/anxiety attack. Similar anti-anxiety smart watches are very good at monitoring the symptoms of a panic attack however from personal experience and from professional advice from psychologists, the only way to lower the severity of a panic attack is to sit with the symptoms and using your breathing and mindfulness strategies deal with the panic attack. Monitoring is very useful for both the user and their psychologist, however personally applying anti-anxiety techniques whilst experiencing a panic attack is perhaps the best non-drug related method of dealing with anxiety and panic disorder. My device will set out to do just that. 

    All of the pre-existing technologies are also expensive (eg: Apple watch). Thus making such devices out of reach for many people.     

    My project will focus on exposure. One of the most efficient ways of dealing with anxiety is to not respond to the ‘fight or flight’ response. That is, if you are experiencing a panic attack you need to stay in the environment in which the panic occurred and using your techniques (given to you on the watch) wait until the panic lowers down to a stable level. This ensures that if the user goes back to the same environment in the future their anxiety levels will be much lower.

  • Final design concept

    Austin Marandos04/21/2018 at 13:12 0 comments

    The final design incorporated a curved rectangular shape whilst still using all of the same electronics mentioned in the initial design.  This shape aims to improve comfort and also improve on the aesthetical qualities of the watch. The previous design lacked on comfort since its sharp rectangular edges cut into the wrist, this design will solve this problem. This design also incorporates new features including; 

    - Slots for 'status' LEDS which will showcase the battery level of the watch and the heart rate of the user.

    - Extended section for the heart rate sensor which will press up against the wrist to maintain skin contact and thus allow for accurate readings.

    Design features and CAD:

    Isometric CAD drawings: 

  • Initial designs and concept generation

    Austin Marandos04/21/2018 at 13:01 0 comments

    The minder smart watch went through various different renditions to reach its final state.

    Initially a simple rectangular shape was designed. 

    This design incorporated an OLED (organic light-emitting diode) screen which projects various information, including time, body temperature, heart rate and anxiety/panic coping techniques. The design allows the user to take full control of the device through the use of user buttons on the side of the watch. The screen allows for multiple anxiety coping techniques to be utilised, if the user is experiencing a panic attack he/she can press the ‘panic button’ which then initiates the first program, if the first technique does not work and panic still persists then the user can press the panic button again and the next technique will be projected onto the screen, this will continue until the panic has dissipated. 

    CAD designs of initial shape:

    This initial design also introduced the idea of using an RGB LED to represent the users change in heart rate. A blue light would indicate a norminal heart rate whilst a red light would indicate a fast heart rate and would also vibrate the watch, warning the user of an upcoming attack. 

    The positioning of the heart rate sensor was also worked out during this phase, as seen below (excerpt from my design folio)

    The general layout of the software and how the anti-anxiety techniques would operate in-conjunction with a fully operational smart watch are showcased in the flow chart below:

  • Foreword

    Austin Marandos04/21/2018 at 12:47 0 comments

    Background info:

    The minder smart watch was the product i created for my Year 12 Design and technology major work (2017 -- now). Design and Technology is a subject in the Australian HSC (higher school certificate), and a major part of the subject is creating and developing a major work which can either be a product, system or an environment. This project must solve a problem and can either be an innovation of an existing product or an entirely new idea.

    Due to the busy nature of my final year at high school I did not have time to record my progress on hackaday. However all of my progress was recorded in a folio (18000 words) which is a major component of the design and technology major project.  

    Therefore my project logs will reflect the information in my folio. 

    I have uploaded my folio to the 'files' section of this project, please check it out as it is very detailed and contains a lot of information about the Minder project. 

    Project recognition:

    My project has been recognised outside of my school. My watch was chosen as the top project in the state of New South Wales, and was showcased in both the national art gallery and national science museum (Powerhouse museum) in the annual Shape 2017 exhibition. 

    Now that high school is finished I would like to make my project open source and share it with the world!

    Time plan:

    The following is a time plan of the different tasks that I achieved throughout the course of the year. Each of the 'activities' were criteria that i had to fulfill as per the marking criteria of the HSC design and technology subject.

    Future/Present status:

    Minder is by no means a complete project. By making my material open source I would like to further develop the project and enable others to both create their own watches and improve on my design. The hackaday 2018 prize is a great opportunity for such a collaboration and I would love to see my project grow even bigger than I initially anticipated. :D

View all 10 project logs

  • 1

    Please note

    Minder is a work in progress and I will be developing ideas further throughout the upcoming months and throughout the 2018 Hackaday contest. However if you would like to create your own watch (up to its current version) then feel free to follow these instructions! 

  • 2
    3D Print Case

    The first step is to download and Print the 3D printed watch case. Download the STL file from the 'files' section and print! The case is very small (only 40mm by 40mm) so most printers will be able to print it.

    Printer settings:

    - Supports (everywhere)

    - 20% infill is fine

    - PLA or ABS plastic is fine ( I used PLA)

    - other settings will vary depending on your printer. 

    Remove the support material once printed and you are done!

    If you do not have access to a 3D printer then try out 3D hubs (

  • 3

    - First, collect all the necessary components (as seen in components list)

    - Now as for soldering the components together you can either do it out of the case or in the case. I soldered all the components out of the case using very thin enameled copper wire and then slotted the circuit in the watch through the holes on the side of the case. Alternatively you can solder the components together once all electronics are fitted inside the case (this poses the risk of burning the 3D printed case).

    - Create the following circuit:


    - The RGB LEDS come pre-soldered to the Qduino board, carefully use a soldering iron to de-solder the LEDS from the board and small pliers to pull them off.  (alternatively you could buy small RGB LEDS incase you damage the ones already on the board)

    - The 'Freetronics OLED screen' did not have a model on Fritzing and only has 10 pins (not 14). 

    - This is only Version 1 of the Minder smart watch circuit. 

    Stack the electronics into the watch case like this:

    **note: The heart rate sensor is located at the bottom (not shown in animation)**

    There are many solder joins that must be made and it will be very hard to fit everything in the case, patience and persistence is the only way through this! (however in the future I plan on making a custom PCB board that can be easily printed and will fit nicely into the case, so fear not!).

    I also waterproofed the electronics by using liquid electrical tape to cover important joints. 

View all 5 instructions

Enjoy this project?



gekimu wrote 11/17/2020 at 07:12 point

Wow! such a great innovation i is. After reading the features and qualities of this watch. I can't wait to buy it. As in this stressful world, I hope that this kind of watches might help us in some positive regard and students can visit at to get best customer service. So be ready to buy it and share the views with others.

  Are you sure? yes | no

Films4You wrote 05/18/2018 at 08:32 point

May be add eyesight improver

  Are you sure? yes | no

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