Maglev baby cot? Feasibility question.

Hi, while shopping for some minor magnets the other day for my balcony windmill project I realized there are some quite powerful magnets that are not too expensive and the idea of a building an Arduino maglev baby cot for my newborn child came to mind.

There are several pages describing solutions based on a magnet, coil and an hall effect sensor. The most serious treatment I've found however states that whatever you build will be inherently unstable (http://mekonik.wordpress.com/2009/03/17/arduino-magnet-levitation/). I don't want my baby to be tipped over and thrown out of the cot in mid air. The idea is to have her floating comfortably of course, maybe with some gentle rocking to promote sleep.

I am also a little bit worried about exposing my baby to strong magnetic fields for extended periods of time on a regular daily basis.

So I have two questions I guess.

1 - Is it possible to build a stable solution?

2 - Can the magnetic fields involved pose any health hazard to small babies?

I was thinking about magnets like these:

56kg http://www.supermagnete.de/eng/Q-60-30-15-N

100kg http://www.supermagnete.de/eng/Q-51-51-25-N

Any thoughts and input appreciated of course!

Commercial magnets don’t pose a problem from the magnetic field side - except if you’re into esoterics like the Mobile-Phones-Fry-your-Brain crown or the Tinfoil-hat-faction.

However, you also have to deal with the mother. And if a solution doesn’t look stable and safe, it won’t be accepted. Wicker baskets work a lot better for peace at home. Save the maglev another year for the rocking horse, because by then you’ll have the child as an ally who’s fascinated by it and will ignore all fears and doubts of the mother.

Korman

Good points.

My wife is already a little bit of a suspicious towards my Arduino hobby. Adding our baby into the mix will indeed be a complicating factor. I was however thinking about introducing some kind of guide mechanism to make sure only up/down movement would be physically possible. Something like two poles at the short ends, with rope or wire loops around them to prevent lateral movement.

Something like two poles at the short ends, with rope or wire loops around them to prevent lateral movement.

In our part of the world, it it the lateral movement that is the key defining feature of a cot, or if not a cot, then a cradle.

Indeed! :-)

It's hard to describe without a proper sketch, but it would allow for a rotational "rocking" movement by the way it is attached to the loops, but it would at the same time prevent the whole cot from just floating away and falling off the magnetic cushion.

The main thing here is that it is not going to be a silent system with electromagnets firing on an off rapidly. Do you want to risk waking up the baby with this cot? I know I would not.

Oh!, I didn't realize that it would be loud! Definitely thought it would be silent. I have no experience at all from working with coils and magnets. Didn't realize they make any sound meanwhile.

I guess I'll just store away this idea for later reuse in some other shape or form.

Thanks for the feedback!/Anders

Ya know, they sell baby swings for pretty short money…

I’m trying to picture what happens when the baby falls off, or the thing explodes or something, and you have to explain to the child protective services people exactly what happened…