“Smart Diapers” win Sensor Expo’s Design Challenge

A team of engineers has designed wearable wireless monitoring systems to measure a child’s diaper condition and temperature, winning first place in the 2016 Sensor Expo’s Design Challenge.

A team of engineers has designed wearable wireless monitoring systems to measure a child’s diaper condition and temperature, winning first place in the 2016 Sensor Expo’s Design Challenge.

The challenge groups budding engineers into small teams and challenges them to invent wireless (embedded) sensor-reading devices within a specified time frame – in this case, less than 24 hours. This year’s challenge had three sponsors – Anaren, Cypress PSCOC and STMicroelectronics – which provided development platforms and kits for the teams to use.

The winning team designed a “Smart Diaper”; a reusable wearable device for humidity and temperature sensing that combines its hardware with a mobile application to alert parents with beeps, texts and vibrations when a diaper needs changing or when a child’s temperature falls outside of pre-set limits, indicating a possible health concern. The team chose to prototype the Smart Diaper using Anaren’s multi-sensor development board, the SRMicroelectronics expansion board, and Anaren’s web-based Atmosphere development platform.

The second place team also chose to address infants with a design they named “Sleep Tight”; a wearable that uses ambient temperature measurement, along with an acceleration sensor to track restlessness or sleep quality relative to temperature and humidity. The team also added a “baby kick” monitor which uses a piezo sensor to track baby kicks in utero to help monitor a baby’s health.