Prototype of baby monitor
Researchers have developed a prototype baby monitor that focuses on a baby’s breathing.
The monitor uses radar technology to detect if a baby stops breathing, and then sends a loud alarm to a portable unit carried by the parents. The device uses Doppler radar to monitor the in-and-out movement of the baby’s chest from respiration.
“It’s a step beyond just watching the baby through a video link or hearing it cry,” said Jenshan Lin, a UF professor of electrical and computer engineering and the principal investigator of the Doppler radar technology used in the monitor.
Engineering students at the University of Florida designed the monitor and created a small book-sized device that was able to be attached to the crib, just like a regular monitor. A remote station was also created, using various lights to indicate the status of the baby’s vital signs, battery life of the station, and the wireless connection.
The students also say that future versions of this device could detect a child’s heartbeat as well. They also state that the signals in this monitor are very low power and not harmful to the baby or parents.
“It’s the same Doppler radar that police use to catch speeders, but in our case, we don’t measure constant speed, but rather back-and-forth motion – sort of like vibration,” Lin said. “That’s the fundamental principle of this technology.”