Bio-Inspired Breastfeeding Simulator Integrated with Software Interface and Feedback Controls

Lin Jiang, Navid Sadeghi Varnousfaderani, Rami Hallac, Alex Kane, Yonas Tadesse, Fatemeh Hassanipour

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This study presents the feasibility of a bench-top bio-inspired breastfeeding simulator (BIBS) integrated with a software interface and feedback control techniques to simulate infant-breast interaction during breastfeeding. A previously developed BIBS setup is modified by the addition of a solid infant head model, including the upper face, lower jaw and tongue actuators, for a good demonstration of the oral cavity movement pattern during breastfeeding simulation. Microcontroller-based proportional-integral-derivative controls are designed for vacuum pressure and motor speed tracking control based on feedback signals. Multiple measurement systems are used to obtain oral pressures, the milk flow rate, and real-time images. A graphical user interface (GUI) is programmed to display these data in real-time. The input panel in the GUI allows users to change input variables such as vacuum frequency, strength, and offset. The output panel is used to monitor pattern changes in breastfeeding simulation. Experimental tests with two different types of user-defined profiles confirm the high fidelity and robustness of the new BIBS in mimicking multi-phase infant oral suckling dynamics in vitro. The simulator serves as an automated and physiologically accurate testbed for understanding the biomechanics of breastfeeding.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1118-1125
Number of pages8
JournalIEEE Robotics and Automation Letters
Issue number2
StatePublished - Apr 1 2022


  • Biomimetics
  • PID control
  • graphical user interface
  • microcontrollers

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Control and Systems Engineering
  • Biomedical Engineering
  • Human-Computer Interaction
  • Mechanical Engineering
  • Computer Vision and Pattern Recognition
  • Computer Science Applications
  • Control and Optimization
  • Artificial Intelligence


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