The sporting event of the future is back in action. I am of course talking about ABC’s Battle Bot reboot, and it is exactly what the world of engineering and science needs right now. But amongst the heavy metal carnage of spinners, flippers, crushers, flamethrowers, and sawblades there is a much softer side of one of the contestants who is competing in the 2015 season.
In the Arena
Some of us still affectionately remember the original Battle Bots series that ran up to the early 2000s. For those that do, you will surely recall the cutest bot to roam the arena, Tentoumushi, better known as that lady bug robot. Tentoumushi was equipped with a stylized ladybug sandbox that served as a servo controlled robot trap.
Tentoumushi and another earlier bot, Doughboy, were designed and built by teenage Lisa Winter and her father, Mike Winter, a previous contestant on the show. Now this father daughter team is back in the robot rumble arena and they brought a Plan X.
On the Outside
Lisa’s day job isn’t focused on welding mechanized robo-destroyers. No, she is working in the equally exciting field of internet connected devices! She is currently the Engineering Project Manager in a world seemingly distant from heavy metal destruction machines of… baby monitors.
Ohhh but these are not your parent’s baby monitors, or even some of the nicer video monitors. Lisa is working with an internet of things startup called Sproutling, who produces “the first sensing, learning, predicting baby monitor.”
If somebody would have told me a few years ago that in my early 20s I would be really excited about baby monitors I would be taking some drastic measures. But the Sproutling baby monitor is like no other. Check out their product video:
Under the Hood: Hardware
Much like most big boy health monitors Sproutling is a band that measures data about heart rate, sleep patterns, temperature, and activity. All of this is wrapped in a soft silicone heart designed to eliminate a curious baby from a choking hazard. This provides parents with an abundance of information to make sure their baby is happy and healthy.
The monitor also comes with a wireless inductive charger which is a masterpiece of its own. It measures the environmental variables of the baby’s room. Things like light and sound levels, humidity, and temperature. The charger alone acts as a powerhouse of baby care data generation.
Imagine knowing about when your baby was going to wake up, and if they were going to wake up cranky. The intelligence behind the Sproutling system recognizes patterns and relays that information to parents via a simple iPhone app interface. Perhaps most importantly the app will notify you when the baby and needs medical attention.
The website says that parents are provided with insights instead of numbers that require guesswork. So you get real time information about how your baby is instead of a list of numbers generated by the monitor.
Babies may not come with instruction manuals, but who needs that when you have a digital personal advisor in your pocket? Having an intelligent baby monitor will soon become just another part of every parent’s arsenal of baby raising equipment.
If you haven’t been watching this season of Battlebots, what have you been doing? Hopefully Lisa will pack her next bot with just as much sensors and intelligence as she does Sproutling. Fully autonomous metal mayhem may be the beginning of the robot apocalypse but we may as well enjoy some smashing before then right?
Let me know what you think! You can leave a comment below or find me on twitter @d_thingable and tell me your thoughts.