corey menscher built the ‘kickbee’ while attending the itp program at new york university this fall. the device is designed to record kicking movements from a pregnant woman’s baby. once a kicking is sensed, the device will send a signal to its onboard electronics, which will in turn transmit the signal to a computer via bluetooth. the computer then logs the information on the online social messaging service twitter. this send a message out to followers letting them all know that the baby kicked.
Of course, you might argue that a kick is a lot more meaningful than anything I could post.
As an expectant father, I am once-removed from the physical knowledge my wife has of our baby and its development. With the Kickbee, I wanted to create a device that would give me a chance to be aware of our baby's movements. It can also aid in tracking the frequency of fetal movements, which is an important way to monitor the health of the developing child.
The Kickbee is a wearable device made of a stretchable band and embedded electronics and sensors. Piezo sensors are attached directly to the band, and transmit small but detectable voltages when triggered by movement underneath. An Arduino Mini microcontroller transmits the signals to an accompanying Java application wirelessly via Bluetooth. (a SparkFun BlueSMIRF v2 module that communicates serially with a Macbook Pro)
The Java application receives the sensor values and analyzes them. When a kick event is detected, a Twitter message is posted via the Twitter API. I chose to use Twitter because it is easy to initiate an SMS message to any mobile phone when a kick is detected. It also acts as a data log that can be accessed programmatically for visualization or archiving.