Researchers are eager to understand better what your child deals with each day as they crawl across your floors. To do so, the researchers at Purdue University have created a robot-like baby that is sure to haunt your dreams.
This robotic baby crawls to different points designed by the researchers, and as the baby crawls, the researchers are able to understand better the microbes your child may be exposed to on an everyday basis.
The Rise of the Robot Baby
The recently published journal from Purdue University researchers highlights the amount of "bio-gunk" that babies are prone to inhale to as they crawl around your house.
If you didn't know, when your baby cutely crawls across the living room, there is a good chance that the child is exposed to dirt, skin cells, bacteria, pollen and any biomatter from home. This nasty stuff is then inhaled into your child's lungs. The robot by Purdue is created to understand better how much of that gunk affects your child. Yet, it might not be as bad as you think. In a lot of the ways, this "bio-gunk" is important to your child's growth.
Lead researcher Brandon Boor described their goals for the research by stating, "We are interested in the biological material an infant inhales, especially during their first year of life when they are crawling. Many studies have shown that inhalation exposure to microbes and allergen-carrying particles in that portion of life plays a significant role in both the development of and protection from, asthma and allergic diseases."
The robot baby crawls on various types of carpets that are common in households around the world. As the baby kicks up the particles on the carpet, researchers measure the particles that are floating in the breathing zone of the baby. With the research, as stated before, they found that the robot baby is constantly being exposed to a cloud of suspended particles as they crawl.
However, these same particles could prove to have health benefits down the road in a child's life, including lowering the chances of allergies, boosting the immune system in the long term as well as lowering the chances of asthma.
As the research continues it is sure to highlight more aspects of how microbes and allergens affect us in early childhood; hopefully with less robotic babies.
What do you think of the robotic baby?
Via: Purdue University