Tag Archives: children

Unique Apnea Monitor Prompts Infants to Resume Breathing

The Babalung monitor prompts premature infants with apnea to start breathing again and gives a visual alarm if they don’t. Click image for video.

Five senior bioengineering students at Rice University have created a sensor they hope will help save premature infants in developing countries.

The students created the Babalung Apnea Monitor, a low-cost, battery-operated neonatal monitor for infants, as part of a yearlong project.

Another student team is now developing a smartphone app that will be able to receive the device data.

This team has worked tirelessly to design a useful technology for very-low-resource settings. They sought feedback from physicians who work in those settings and incorporated this advice into their prototype. The unique feature of the device is the system that alerts a baby as an intervention to apnea—all without requiring a nurse to intervene.”

— Maria Oden, director, Oshman Engineering Design Kitchen, Rice University

When a sensor connected to the bay’s chest determines the child has stopped breathing for 20 seconds, a vibrating motor attempts to restart the baby’s breathing. Five seconds later, if the baby has not resumed breathing, a visual alarm (a bicycle light hung above the baby’s crib) begins to flash.

Learn more at http://news.rice.edu/2012/04/12/babalung-gets-babies-breathing-again/

Watch the video at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b3xBaa3VN9c

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.


Child Cognition Research May Help Build Smarter Computers

Scientists at UC Berkeley are taking cues from kids to build more intelligent computers. (Photo credit: UC Berkeley News Center.)

Looking for an answer to the question, “Can children make computers smarter?, researchers at the UC Berkeley’s Computational Cognitive Science Lab have developed computational models based on research into infant, toddler, and preschooler cognition.

Young children are capable of solving problems that still pose a challenge for computers, such as learning languages and figuring out causal relationships. We are hoping to make computers smarter by making them a little more like children. Your computer could be able to discover causal relationships, ranging from simple cases such as recognizing that you work more slowly when you haven’t had coffee, to complex ones such as identifying which genes cause greater susceptibility to diseases.”

— Tom Griffiths, director, Computational Cognitive Science Lab, UC Berkeley

In a bid to help improve artificial intelligence, the researchers have used Bayesian probability theory to study the choices kids make when learning. They hope their findings will help to “make computers smarter, more adaptable — and more human.”

Learn more at http://newscenter.berkeley.edu/2012/03/12/babyeinsteins/

© Tony Leininger and IT for Good 2012. See sidebar for full copyright notice.