Friday, February 7, 2014


The main purpose of this blog is to document my Intel experiment experiences. And with that said, I can say that I've begun to start on it with my mentor, Ms. Chipps. It's really exciting to start working on my plans for a mobile device that can detect a baby's vitals!

So far, we've ordered an Adafruit accelerometer ADXL345, chosen for its low cost and good reputation. The first steps is to see if it's efficiently sensitive enough to be responsible for detecting a baby's breathing movements (as the accelerometer detects movement).

Accelerometers are good for sensing the presence of motion, or even the orientation of the object it's attached to. This can be useful in detecting vital signs of an infant as the accelerometer can be used to detect breathing movements or what position the infant is lying. For instance, SIDs is a major cause of deaths in babies; characterized by a lack of oxygen and commonly cause for warning not to have the child lying on their stomach. Thus, bringing reason to including an accelerometer into the device being created.

Currently, I'm using an Arduino Uno with the ADXL345, and am following a guide to wire and copied the code from the guide.

my Arduino Uno connected to the accelerometer
Materials (so far):
  • Arduino (using Arduino Uno)
  • Laptop/Computer
  • Accelerometer (using ADXL345 from Adafruit)
  • Wires
  • Bread board

First objectives:
  • How to work the ADXL345 and find how sensitive it is
  • How to read the ADXL345 data
Quite simple sounding objectives, but turned out to be quite the challenge!

One problem... I can't even get the program to upload to the accelerometer!! Using Windows Vista, on the Arduino IDE with the correct drivers and everything, I keep getting errors like "serial port 'COM6' already in use" or "serial port 'COM6' not found". I can't even get the simple basic "blink" program to work for pin13 on the board. was working on my laptop before I started using the ADXL345 though.

New to programming, I can see that this hobby takes a lot of patience and persistence because troubleshooting is really quite frustrating!

Seeing Ms. Chipps today, however. Hopefully, with two minds, a solution will be found.

It's a small bump in the road, and I'll continue to post as we work on it!

Next steps:
  • How to connect the ADXL345 to a mobile device

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