Monitoring a baby with an Arduino and some sensors. Ideas?

Hi dear lads and gals,

I'm working on my Electrical Engineering bachelors thesis and it evolved into something that I couldn't have foreseen. I'm trying to build a baby monitoring package that would involve 3 major things;

Baby's
-Temperature changes
-Breathings
-Positions in the crib (in or out)
and all these should be controlled through a mobile app.


I have a couple of challenges. First of all there can't be wires all around the place to detect these changes and I'm not quite lost about how the package would be. I've experimented on a waterproof ds18b20 temperature sensor (got the temperature saved on a web server) and a flex sensor (thought of planting it under the crib) so far. For the breathings I thought of using a microphone but didn't really get my hands around that.

What better sensor there are that would simplify the process? What should this package consist of?
Any ideas/directions are welcome!

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caitlinsdad2 years ago

Use the hacked kinect sensor or raspberry pi cam/webcam to track movement/breathing maybe. Pointing one of those inexpensive handheld rangefinder/temp gauges at the bed, mine has a laser sight, would give you an external skin reading if you can use servos to keep it aimed at an exposed body part. Good luck.

kaanorgunmat (author)  caitlinsdad2 years ago

Thanks for your feedback caitlinsdad! I read on some platforms that it gets quite tricky to use cams to track these sort of movements. Could work with a rangefinder but which temp gauge were you using by the way?

There are lots of instructables you can look up for the kinect hack. The kinect sensor/app takes the work out of using a bare webcam.

http://www.harborfreight.com/non-contact-infrared-...

http://www.harborfreight.com/non-contact-infrared-thermometer-with-laser-targeting-69465-8905.html

Lots of people make them. I'm not sure what kind of movement you are trying to detect like if the baby rolls over or general placement in the crib. You could have a matrix of IR sensors embedded in the mattress as a sensor grid or a matrix of pressure sensors like in a DDR(dance dance revolution) video game footpad controller. Calibrate with the initial settings and detect any change. Or if the baby is wearing a two tone body suit, have a matrix of color LED sensors to detect what is placed or moved on top of it.

phidgetsinc2 years ago

For the movements, you could use something like the IM Blanky (http://www.thestar.com/business/tech_news/2012/04/24/innovative_blanket_could_monitor_your_health_or_just_keep_you_toasty.html). For breathing and temperature, you're best bet would be to build a sort of comfortable harness that the baby could wear around its torso. It would need some wireless transmitter sown in (ie Xigbee). Just look for wearable sensors on Instructables and you'll find lots of examples that have been made for adults, but you could easily sew something together for a baby.

The temp sensors will do little more then track the ambient air temp or mattress temp. If it's a good mattress it won't be transferring any heat through it. If you want to monitor baby temp you'll have to have something attached to the child somewhere. Unless you want to use something like a Flir camera so display the temp of the entire crib area.

kaanorgunmat (author)  mpilchfamily2 years ago

Thanks for the response mpilchfamily! Flir cameras came to mind but they are rather expensive.