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International Journal of Information and Computer Science (IJICS) Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2014
doi: 10.14355/ijics.2014.0301.02

Automatic Anti-overflow Alarm Device

Design of Electric Cooker
Jinchi Zhang1,2, Lanhua Zhang*2, Zhaojun Liu1, Haitao Du1, Xiaoyan Ma1, Xiaoyan Fan1
Department of Personnel, Taishan Medical University, Taian, China
College of Information and Engineering, Taishan Medical University, Taian, China


In order to solve the spillover of electric cooker, a kind of
automatic anti-overflow alarm device was designed to warn
by different alert sounds. The small integrated assistant
sensor can easily be embedded on the lid of the pot; and by
hot sensor switch automatic anti-overflow alarm function
was implemented. The theoretical and practical results
implied that it is feasible and effective to embed the assistant
device on the electric cooker pot to achieve the automatic
anti-overflow alarm.
Intelligent Control System; Heat Sensor; Anti-overflow Alarm;
Embedded; Integrated; Probe; Electric Cooker

Electric cooker is one of most popular home electrical
equipments. In our home, all kinds of electric cookers
are with different types and functions. As a frequently
house and living thing, it is a consumable and
necessity. But there are so many types of electrical
cookers that bring trouble in our lives in the cooking;
overflow, one of the main questions, has brought
many complaint and waste.
Insignificant as it is, it can bring value and reduced
waste if we solve the question in the current electrical
cooker on the basis of science technology of computer
hardware and software. Of course, you can buy a new
intelligent electrical cooker to replace the old one, but
it is more expensive and wasteful. If we add a small
assistant component to solve the question, it is a better
solution for us and society.
In order to solve the question and embody the value of
our idea, we have conducted field research on existing
machines during holidays and gotten a lot of research
data. By the surveys, we have a full understanding of
the existing equipments and spill-proof devices and
voice alarm devices on the basis of the original rice
cooker by the analysis of the devices data.
In our city, there are many low-end products without

anti-overflow alarm device because of the variety of

rice cookers and the economical conditions, so many
rice cookers are still no effective anti-overflow alarm
function. The device designed can be easily added to
the current rice cooker with low price. It is safety and
easy to use for users with practical, convenient and
comfortable life.
In addition, according to the survey of our group, it is
expensive of the selling rice cookers on the market
with the anti-overflow alarm device; and limited
selection for low-income families to pay for the
intelligent electrical cooker and more willing to buy
cheaper products with some shortcoming. Many users
select compromise between the price and the
Based on the above situation, it is urgent to develop
this device to compensate for the deficiencies of the
market and provide convenience for users.
Many of the rice cookers in the spill function are not
enough; so it is an assistant device for many people of
their previously purchased rice cooker. The design
objects are limitations in the spill. Accounted for a
large proportion of this part of the product after an
investigation, the development of this device is very
necessary to solve the practical problems.
With the design of the rice cooker, it will be more
safety, practical and humane in the future.
In this paper, we will introduce our idea of the design
in details. The aim of the design is to update the
current electrical cooker with low cost. What we
design can be a single device in the cookeras well be
embedded into the cooker. Users can modify their old
electrical cooker by our design based on their own
demands. By the detailed design on the hardware and
software, the electrical cooker can provide the
automatic anti-overflow alarm functions by different
hints of the sound.

International Journal of Information and Computer Science (IJICS) Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2014


and integrated test.

Design Ideas

The structure experiment determines the material

of the probe and other components; then the hot
sensor is tested in the laboratory for many times so
as to determine the material, as well as material
usage quantity and method. The hardware
programming must be tested in the laboratory
before embedded in the product; further the
function is programmed and the characters of the
probe and circuit ate examined until it is safety and
robust. By the experimental method, our design in
the product can be applied to practice.

In order to solve the spill-over when the rice cookers

cook in a small voice alarm, a small probe will be
installed on rice cooker's lid. When the foam has a
touch with the probe site in the cooking, a set of alarm
prompts will be given according to the time set.
The functions of the alarm device are implemented by
the probe and embedded circuit development. The
probe is a kind of hot sensor, and touchable. When
touched by the foam, it will transmit the hot and
signal to the circuit embedded on the lid. The circuit is
a kind of simple semiconductor that will be set by the
hot signal. When the circuit receives the signal, the
logic switch circuit will set the alarm sound level by
the programming design, then the sound model will
send the alarm by the set.
Design Goals
In order to implement the function, emphasis is on the
three points.
The first is to design the basic structure of product. We
will design several different topology connected
structures so as to fit for different electrical cooker.
The structure includes the probe, the circuit board and
connected line, the loudspeaker and indicator light.
When the components finish, we will assemble them
into an integrated product for different install uses.
The second is to design the various modules of the
component in the integrated device including different
hardware and software by which the hot signal
handling is implemented. Different sound prompts are
set by the hot signal in the circuit development.
The third is to test the function and integrate the
component so as to fit for different electrical cooker.
We will test the function for safety and robustness.
Research Methods

Survey Method

We adopt the interview and questionnaire survey

to collect the source data including user
development. Based on the data, all the relevant
information of the electrical cooker are obtained.

Experimental Method

By the design, we will do some experiments on the

structure, hardware and software programming


Simulation Method

In order to save the cost of the product, we first to

create a similar model in accordance with the main
features of the prototype; then make research on
the model to design, test and apply our ideas on
the function; by the model, the cookers function,
characters and usage can be predicated; at last we
can conduct the product indirectly through the
Design Process
The basic content of the project includes research on
the existing market, the research data analysis to
obtain the target product function, the building of the
a product model and simulation, the diagram and the
module of the structure, the further analysis of the
internal function of the module on allocation and
implementation methods, the final development of
products and the necessary test and usage.
By the sequence of the content, the final product of the
model can give us the work of the project in the
technology and implementation.
Design Emphasis and Difficulties
For the whole project, the emphasis is on how to
implement the function of the alarm.
The focus of this design is on how the circuit timely to
judge overflow and alert. All the epitaxial extension of
the controlled circuit is to complete the operation,
function; so sufficient implementation has been done
on the control part so as to guarantee the epitaxial
circuit timely completion of the corresponding
But it is not so easy to judge the time and opportunity
of the alarm. The alarm timing judgment circuit
depends on the determining of the condition overflow.
It is difficult to make decision for the condition of

International Journal of Information and Computer Science (IJICS) Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2014

implementation, we will add a judgement circuit in
the control circuit to generate the information in this
section; which is a key part of this device. The
information transmitted by physical decision on the
probe is critical for the implementation. The hot sensor
will work all the time in the same and complex
surrounding. How to decide the foam overflow need
test and design so as to finish the function of the
Design Flow Chart
By the design, we can set up the flow chart as follows:




Probe Loop
Power Switch






In Fig. 1, the detailed process of the device can be

gotten, fron which the flow expresses the technology
implementation methods.
Based on the current rice cooker, we make research
mainly on the anti-overflow function, including
installing a small spill and setting alarm device. The
design improves the safety and practicality of the rice
cooker. After the design, we have the main
modification on the cooker as follows.
The Basic Architecture
According to the preliminary ideas, the basic structure
of the mapis firstly to design a device, and then in
order to improve the structure diagram comparison is
made with the original intention of the idea in the
products function and characters so as to get a more
perfect architecture diagram. We can get many
solutions based on the survey data and compare the
structure with each other based on the current
electrical cooker architecture, including the intelligent
and un-intelligent cookers. After the discussion of the
solutions, we design the basic architecture for the
optimization of the structure diagram, also provide

the final choice of the optimal solution for future

Modules Design of the Architecture
On the basis of the basic structure of the graph, we use
the module design method to develop the system. For
the hardware, we divide the device into several
modules so that they can be easily integrated by
different cookers. For the software programming, we
divide the whole system into several big modules by
the function requirements and then the big module
into small module whether from the function or the
structure. By the module, we can easily assemble them
into different function models by the user
With the embedded development, we program the
system by analysis and design. The main work is the
circuit control for determining the alarm time and
setting alert sound. When the probe induces the foam,
the hot sensor will transit the information to the circuit
that receives the hot signal and information, execute
the alarm determination and make a sound by the
signal and program set.
The Components of the Initial Product
Based on the second phase of development, we can
test and assemble the modules and develop each
module interface circuit in order to achieve the
convenient assembly of each module. The interface
modules can integrate different physics and logic
modules for the usage of the device which will
facilitate future equipment maintenance. After the test
and assemble, we can integrate the initial product for
The Improvements of the Initial Product
On the basis of the initial product, we apply the alarm
device system on the product or the cooker lip. For
safety and usage, some additional developments need
to handle for further modification. Firstly, the
insulation layer should be added to the initial product
so as to prevent hot when touch the product. Secondly,
we will develop the package for the landscape
products; then cover the insulator layer, waterproof
layer so as to achieve the purpose of easy installing,
clean and hygienic.
Product Tests and Subsequent Advices
At last, we will do installation of the finished product
to the experimental environment in the rice cooker for
practical experimental tests so as to examine whether

International Journal of Information and Computer Science (IJICS) Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2014

the effect of spill and alarm functions meets the

practical requirements; and if there are inadequacies in
the experimental process, we will develop a separate
module of the product and make further refinement to
test until achieves the satisfactory results.
The Hardware Implementations of the System

Intelligent Control Device

Intelligent control device is one of control systems

based on hardware and software programming. In
the implementation, it involves many branches of
the science, such as the computer, control and
mathematics. In its application, it touches upon
many areas of control functions, such as automatic
control, micro control and so on. From different
surroundings, easiness or difficulty, we can use the
intelligent control device to easy our lives.

Heat Sensor

Sensor is more a kind of physical equipment in the

application, with the conception from biological
organ. With the sensor, we can collect the signal
such as heat, light, electrical and so on. With heat
sensor, the sensor can transmit the heat signal to
the connection circuit.
The heat sensor, one of sensor that converts the
temperature signal into electrical signal, can
measure the heat or the covering foam by the
touching and un-touching patterns.
Thermograph is one of the professional sensors
that can measure and record the temperature of the
object surface, as well as the mobile objects, small
objects. It can be easily used in the heat capacity
and rapid changing temperature measurements.

Intelligent Alarm Device

In the automatic anti-overflow alarm system, there

are two models implemented for the functions. The
first is the physical probe design; and the second is
intelligent alarm circuit function implementation.
In order to measure and record the touching foam,
the probe need to suspend on the lip of the
electrical cooker. For the convenience and safety,
we can design the probe embedded on the cover of
the cooker or suspended on the cover of the cooker.
The length and shape can be designed depending
on the cookers requirements.
The intelligent alarm circuit is a basic control

circuit that can induce the signal from the probe,

and then compute the signal to set the alert sound
by the sound model circuit.
On the basis of the intelligent control device, heat
sensor and intelligent alarm system, we can
implement the automatic anti-overflow alarm
device. By the probe suspending on the lip of the
cooker, the heat signal transmits to the control
circuit; and by the signal determination, the
different sound alarm will be sent.
The Software Implementation of the System

Software Programming

Except the basic hardware equipment, it is essential

for the system with the software programming,
especially by continuous test to integrate all the
hardware into a single device. It is critical to
achieve the required functions for all the designs
and applications of the intelligent alarm device.
Also it is a guarantee in the function
implementation, product safety and robustness.
The software programming as a bridge and
platform for all the hardware function
implementations of the circuit control, embedded
system development, signal handling and data test.

Embedded System

Embedded system development is a kind of

technology in which the function is embedded into
the internal of controlled components. In many
controllers, the embedded system with computer
system application has been applied to all kinds of
the products from the huge, large to small, micro
types. It provides an interface for programmer to
program randomly with their requirements.
The embedded system application is one of
popular methods to accomplish the control
function. With the embedded technology and
development platform, we can design different
hardware interfaces and modules in the current
systems. With the embedded system, the intelligent
alarm system can embed the heat detection
function and sound alarm function in the electric
cooker system.

Sound and Language

The sound circuit model is easy to be embedded

into the control circuit. We can set different values
and sounds for different requirements by the

International Journal of Information and Computer Science (IJICS) Volume 3 Issue 1, January 2014

software programming. In order to provide more

humanized operation and hint, we also can
strengthen the function of sound. For example, we
can add the language display by a small light
emitting diode screen and turn the sound into the
speaker hint of human.

cheaper relatively and more suitable for low-end

market. In short, the automatic anti-overflow alarm
device is characterized by a small economic cost for
great practical value.


This work was financially supported in part by Youth

Education Scientific Planning Research Project of
Shandong Province (13AJY033) and College Student
Science and Technique Innovation Action Program of
Taian (2011D1035).

Interface and Modules

In order to fit for different machines and circuits,

we can design the functions into different
interfaces and modules so as to test and integrate.
By the common interface, we can discard the
difference of the cooker and set the functions into a
single module to execute the same or similar
functions. With the interface, we can design
different function modules by small modifications.
By the module, every function can program an
independent component to integrate the whole
system. Different models with different levels can
assemble different function products with small
modification and test.
In the paper, we put forward an automatic antioverflow alarm device design method from the theory
and practice. Based on the market and data surveys,
we demonstrated the whole design method and
In the design, we mainly brought our different
innovations on the practical application. For the rice
cooker, the anti-overflow alarm device is practical and
safety. Aiming at the current cooker to make the
design, it is more practical than the new types. If the
original rice cooker does not have the anti-overflow
alarm device, the simple device is available to be
installed in the lip of the cooker. The device is
independent or embedded; so it is easy and
convenient for use in the current cooker. It provides a
save of our expenditures on the daily life, and more
suitable for the elder and worker when they become
forgetful and busy.
Now our daily lives must practice economy, in order
to reduce waste of our lives, we select update the
function with small cost instead of discard for new
intelligent products, especially on our daily uses.
This small device can solve the rice cooker to antioverflow with a small cost, and is more practical to use
in the home environment, especially for the office
workers and busy housewives. This equipment can be
realized by some cheap components, which makes it


The authors thanked the College of Information and

Engineering Taishan Medical University colleagues for
assistance with data collection and Institute of the
Neuroinformatics in Dalian University of Technology
staff for manuscript comments. Special thanks were to
Polly and Xiaochen Xu
for suggestions and
modifications on writing; as well as the anonymous
referees for their valuable comments and suggestions.

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Lanhua Zhang received the B.Sc. and
M.Sc. degrees from Liaocheng University
and Shandong University, P R China, in
2002 and 2005, respectively. He joined the
College of Information and Engineering,
Mountain Tai Medical University, Taian, P
R China, as a research teacher. He
currently continues academic studying as a Doctor scholar at
Institute of Neuroinformatics, Dalian University of
Technology, Dalian, P R China. His main research interest is
complex network modelling and algorithm application,
computer technology application and database optimization.
He has published over 30 refereed journal and conference
papers on these topics.