Self-Propelled Stroller Leads the Way to Hands-Free Parenting
This self-pushing pram concept could be a dream for jogger parents, but we have our doubts
An ambitious startup is on a mission to build baby strollers that you don’t need to push or pull. The Smartbe Intelligent Stroller is pushing ahead of Google, Tesla or other autonomous vehicle aspirants with a baby carrier that can run on its own.
Naturally, the stroller won’t be taking your babies for morning walks all on its lonesome. The Smartbe stroller wirelessly tethers itself to an adult and relies on the person accompanying it to work and navigate lanes.
Motion sensors in the stroller will locate where the adult’s position is and predict his or her motion and direction to keep a constant, safe distance. The stroller’s own motors will then navigate itself.
Joggers-slash-caregivers would just have to focus on running while the stroller gently speeds in front, stopping whenever the jogger does.
The stroller is battery-powered, with juice that could last up to six hours. It pairs with your smartphone and there’s even a distance alarm, just in case you almost forget about your baby outdoors.
The Indiegogo campaign estimates delivery for April of next year but the obvious lack of prototypes plus Flexible Funding mode can be a cause of worry.
If it is, how willing are parents to strap their baby onto a self-propelling motorized vehicle? A crowded park can easily confuse sensors in the stroller while a baby carrier trying to match an adult’s running speed doesn’t seem entirely safe. What if the road is uneven? Wouldn’t it be a rough ride for the baby?
The kind of spatial awareness required for a safe self-propelling stroller is extremely advanced. Google is even still trying to figure this out. How could all sensors required for safe operation fit into a stroller?
With just a relatively low funding goal of $80,000, it’s a mystery how the startup will be able to deliver on its promises (which includes integrated climate control, protective canopies that automatically slide in and out of the stroller, and a “Remote Security Monitoring System”).
PSFK has previously cited crowdfunding projects that are too dreamy to be true. The warning holds true: backers beware.
The Smartbe is now available for preorder on Indiegogo. Price for the self-propelling wheels plus bassinet is a premium $3,199. The one with the seat is at $3,099.