An electronic system for an apparatus for selectively dispensing articles is disclosed. The apparatus is especially suited for dispensing pills in hospitals and nursing homes, wherein stringent controls are needed to prevent mistakes in dispensing or misuse of prescribed pills. The disclosed apparatus comprises a plurality of magazines or cassettes, each magazine containing a number of doses of a particular pill prescribed for the patient. The magazines contain a plurality of rotatable compartments for storing several days' supply of the particular pill, each compartment containing the unit dose prescribed for the particular patient. In the usual case a plurality of magazines are inserted into the dispensing apparatus, and then the dispenser is activated to dispense from the magazines those pills required at that time.
The present electronic system is programable to select the time of day, as well as the particular magazines, for dispensing the pills. Various magazines can only be activated at particular times in the day so that a pill cannot be dispensed except at the times prescribed for the patient. The system includes a keyboard and control for entering the dispensing routine, and a digital system for controlling solenoids which in turn control the cassettes from which the pills are dispensed.