Mealhero started a Kickstarter project back in 2017 because they saw the need for creating a healthy and delicious meal without effort. People with a busy schedule have the tendency to eat something quickly which is usually not the healthiest option compared to cooking. Mealhero started looking for other alternatives to provide people with healthy effortless meals and that’s how the idea of a smart steamer was conceived.

Mealhero created an app where customers can choose between different meals that are updated weekly. The meals are delivered at home. They are frozen to keep the maximum of nutrition values and that way the customer can choose when they use a mealhero meal.

The development of the smart steamer was a collaboration between mealhero and product developers at Comate for the mechanics and Dekimo for the electronics. All electronics, firmware and cloud connectivity design is developed by Dekimo. Integrating capacitive touch sensing on a RFID reader, WiFi communication through cloud technology, the LED display and a heating controller with a capacitive water level sensor.

The steamer can be controlled by one capacitive touch button designed in the antenna of the RFID reader. By scanning the food boxes with this reader the steamer tells you, by led indication, where to put the food and it knows automatically how long it needs to be steamed. This is made possible by a cloud communication over WiFi. The heaters are secured for overheating by using a thermal fuse and capacitive water levelling sensing, so no heating will be performed without the presence of enough water.

The challenges in this project can be found in the development of a capacitive touch sensor in an RFID antenna and the development of a dedicated capacitive water level sensor.

After development the product was EMC tested in the Dekimo Blue Guide EMC Lab. Both the PCBs and product assembly are done in our production plant. Both our production plant and test lab are located in Erpe-Mere.