Sudden Infant Death Syndrome is responsible for the deaths of thousands of babies each year. Many of these deaths may be preventable with the proper detection. The proposed system is a low cost monitoring alarm that will sound if a sleeping baby is to stop breathing, roll onto her stomach, or be exposed to too low or too high a temperature. The system is designed to be as affordable and as safe as possible. Unlike existing solutions, it does not require running a wire into the crib, witch can be dangerous in its own right, or the use of expensive electronic components such as video monitoring equipment.
The system consists of a sensor module and an alarm module. The sensor is a small, extremely low power device that monitors movement, angular position and temperature, and communicates this information to the alarm module over wireless RF communication. The sensor is battery powered, and includes a permanent (non-replaceable) battery with a lifetime of at least 5 years. The alarm module will sound an alarm if communication with the sensor module is lost due to a dead battery.
The sensor module's electronic board is completely encapsulated in a small flat disc shaped plastic housing. None of the electronic components, including the battery, are accessible. Although the encapsulated sensor module is small, it is large enough that it cannot be swallowed by a human. This device is placed into a fabric pouch which includes the hook fastening (from hook and loop type fastening) on one side of the pouch. The fabric pouch is completely sealed and the only way to access the sensor module inside is to cut open the pouch with a tool.
This pouch is attached to the fabric over the baby's belly (from her wrap or clothing) when she is placed down to sleep. This allows the sensor module to monitor small movements from breathing, the orientation of the baby and the local temperature. If breathing movement is sensed to stop, the baby is detected to have rolled over (so she is on her stomach), or the temperature has reached too low or too high a value, the alarm module will sound an alarm.
The alarm module is designed to mount to the side of the crib. This allows the use of very low power communication between the sensor module and the alarm module. The alarm module contains the electronic circuitry necessary to communicate with the sensor module, a speaker capable of broadcasting an audible alarm, and 4 alarm indication LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) that are used to indicate the cause of an alarm (breathing, orientation, low temperature or high temperature). A fifth LED indicates when the unit is powered on with no alarm conditions.
Sensor modules and alarm modules are paired together with unique IDs that allow multiple sensor/alarm pairs to be used in close proximity to each other.