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Doppler Baby Monitor

December 31, 2008

A Doppler radar baby monitor could alert parents when an infant stops breathing.


Babysitting with radar. I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

If a sleeping baby suddenly stops breathing, waking the baby right away may prevent disaster. But you can’t watch a baby all night long. That’s why engineering students in Jenshan Lin’s lab at the University of Florida are developing a Doppler radar-based baby monitor. The device tracks the subtle rise and fall of a breathing baby’s chest, and sounds an alarm if that motion stops.
Ph. D. candidate Changzhi Li worked on the device.

CHANGZHI LI (University of Florida):
I mean, it just tells you whether the baby stops breathing. And this is very easy to be done by our monitor.

The device performed well in a dry run on an undergraduate student. Li also notes that it emits just one-ten-thousandth of the energy of a standard cell phone, which suggests that it should be safe. I’m Bob Hirshon for AAAS, the Science Society.