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RFID sensor is powered by dirty diapers

Parents seem able to know, through some form of extrasensory perception, when their child’s diaper has been soiled. In cases where it seems as if there is no visible drooping, dripping, discoloration, or any smell of any kind, parents just seem to know. For anyone who is a a parent who hasn’t developed this super-power, MIT has you covered. From MIT News.

Now MIT researchers have developed a “smart” diaper embedded with a moisture sensor that can alert a caregiver when a diaper is wet. When the sensor detects dampness in the diaper, it sends a signal to a nearby receiver, which in turn can send a notification to a smartphone or computer.

The sensor consists of a passive radio frequency identification (RFID) tag, that is placed below a layer of super absorbent polymer, a type of hydrogel that is typically used in diapers to soak up moisture. When the hydrogel is wet, the material expands and becomes slightly conductive — enough to trigger the RFID tag to send a radio signal to an RFID reader up to 1 meter away.

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