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New Father Ensures Safety of Offspring Using Wiimote, Lasers

I’m not a coward or anything (I swear!), but I will level with you — being a parent looks utterly daunting and terrifying. One day someone just hands you a tiny little human that is incapable of doing anything but producing noise and goo, and for the next several years, you are responsible for making sure it thrives. Luckily, there’s help, and no, I’m not talking about spouses or your own, seasoned parents — I’m talking about good old never-let-you-down or lead-you-astray technology. Before his daughter was even born, hacker and blogger Gjoci was hard at work cobbling together a breath detector from a Wiimote and a trio of 1 milliwatt lasers. Positioned above the crib, this neat hack sets off an alarm anytime the breathing seems to stop or becomes irregular.

Gjico mounted three lasers that triangulate into the crib over his baby’s chest, which give the contraption a slightly unnerving feel, as it looks like a Predator is hunting your child, which most parents understand to be patently unsafe. As she breathes, the positions of the lights change ever so slightly, and that motion is sensed by a camera harvested from a Wiimote. A simple program asks the camera every couple of milliseconds whether the lights are still moving. If they are, no problem! As long as there’s a little bit of motion, the detector knows everything is hunky-dory, leaving the baby swaddled in the warm embrace of lasers while Mom and Dad get some well-deserved shuteye.

However, when the lights fail to move, a smoke detector-style alarm goes off. As one would imagine, it is loud and high pitched and very hard to ignore, the digital equivalent of someone running into the room yelling “BABY NOT BREATHING! BABY NOT BREATHING!” This is the sort of information parents value very highly.

The whole rig mounts on the edge of his little girl’s crib, and contains no parts that could come off and be swallowed by a baby, which is something babies occasionally do. They just don’t know any better yet.

Mad props to Gjoci, who, if this gadget is any indication, is going to make a really great Dad — a fact that his kid will certainly appreciate. You know, once she is in her 30s or so.

(via Hack A Day)

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