doctor1.jpg (11219 bytes)

Hand-held Doctor

(for children)

by Walter Bender and Vadim Gerasimov

with help of Tara Brown, Ahmed Ait-Ghezala.

The goal of this project is to create a toy for children that will help them better understand how their bodies work. The toy monitors and records several physiological parameters using hand-built and commercially available sensors. The output of these sensors is directed to physical devices that the children build and to a web site where they can compare and contrast the data over various temporal periods: minutes, hours, days, and months. Children will explore parameters such as heart rate, breathing rate, temperature, and galvanic skin response while they stand, sit, walk, run, or sleep.

The first prototype of the system includes a small PIC-based computer with A/D converters and an RF transmitter, 3 hand-built sensors, a handy-board-based robot with a receiver, and a PC program. The sensors include a precise thermosensor to measure body temperature, a thermistor-based breathing sensor, and a sensitive IR reflectance detector to check the pulse.

scr.jpg (30111 bytes)

Breathing.gif (18152 bytes)


Heart.gif (7012 bytes)


Temperature.gif (34106 bytes)


The PC program shows a cartoon character that mimics child's breathing, heartbeat, and temperature.


robot.jpg (40247 bytes)

The robot receives the physiological parameters and moves in accordance with the breathing and pulse patterns.


Children can modify and reprogram the robot and manipulate the physiological information received by the personal computer.

In the future the PC program will also explain how the parameters depend on health and activity of the child and try to guess what the child is doing. Besides, the program may allow children to share what they have learned and compare their bio-recordings.

Every Sign of Life project

Project description PDF