Engineering students at the University of Florida (UF
) have used radar technology traditionally used in military tracking devices to develop a new range of remote baby monitors.
According to the designers, the low-power device uses Doppler radar technology to scan the movement of the baby’s chest and alert the parents if the baby stops breathing.
Doppler radar technology works by bouncing radio waves off an object to detect its location.
The change of frequency of the returning wave is analysed electronically to provide data on its direction, size and speed.
Applications include weather forecasts, the detection of intruders and the tracking of enemy bombers.
However, UF engineers claim that this is the first case in which the technology has been used to monitor a baby’s movements wirelessly.
The students designed the monitor as part of the
They hope that future versions of the device will use higher-frequency signals that will enable it to detect irregularities in a baby’s heartbeat.
Jenshan Lin, a UF professor of electrical and computer engineering and the principal investigator of the Doppler radar technology, is pursuing other applications for the technology, including a search-and-rescue robot used to determine the presence of survivors in buildings damaged by explosions or earthquakes.