Electronic crib rocks baby to sleep

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Mozhga, Udmurtia, Russia (AP) -- A Russian father has invented a smart crib that can gently rock a baby to sleep, all controlled via an app.

A Russian father has invented a smart crib that can gently rock a baby to sleep, all controlled via an app. The rocking mechanism is meant to soothe the child and help both parents and babies get a good night's rest. Courtesy: AP

The rocking mechanism is meant to soothe the child and help both parents and babies get a good night's rest.

This idea for a mechanical rocking crib came to engineer Mikhail Karpesh when his wife became pregnant.

He spent six months working on the prototype, and finally, when his son was born, and the rocking mechanism was installed on the cradle, the inventor began its test trials.

The cot was used by Karpesh's son until he outgrew the home made cradle. But by then Karpesh had already modified his invention and came up with the idea for a business model.

Despite looking, he couldn't find a similar device in any other markets.

Karpesh claims his device works through electromagnetic fields.

An electromagnetic coil is installed on the stable part of the pendulum bed, and the permanent magnet - on the moving part.

When the coil is connected to power, it starts to pull up and then push away the magnet and the upper side of the crib attached to it.

This sort of device doesn't contain any shifting elements like treads, gears or rollers which might get worn and broken and it does not make a noise, according to Karpesh.

Karpesh patented his invention and tried to sell one through a classifieds website.

His first customer call came after just a couple of hours and it inspired him to keep going.

He's spent six years improving his invention and has now introduced a remote control that varies the intensity of rocking.

The new model also has a timer to enable parents set the cradle's duration of rocking in advance.

Motion and a sound sensors have been inserted in the device so it can recognise when a baby wakes, cries or squirms so it automatically starts working.

The latest upgrade includes a WiFi module that allows parents to control the cradle by a smartphone, a tablet or a PC, even from outdoors.

The improvements all came as a result of feedback from customers.

Karpesh is now working on a new request to engineer the cradle to detect bed wetting.

While the device may be welcomed by parents, some doctors are concerned about possible automatic devices.

Paediatrician Irina Selnikhina from the Doctor Plus Clinic says: "If a baby has neurological problems at birth, it will be manifestly more active if the child is being rocked all the time. It isn't right. But we (should) come back to the problems that the baby has from an early age, from birth (we) have to solve the problem, not resort to using machines."

There are four models - the cheapest costs $62.95 US dollars and the most expensive $124.95 US dollars.

The inventor has already sold more than three thousand cribs to parents all over the world, although the bulk of his market is in Russia.

A major Russian producer of baby furniture "Krasnaya zvezda" ("Red star") has been interested in selling the cribs.

They've made changes in the manufacturing to allow their cots to be easily adapted to the automatic rocker on request.