Find parenthood exhausting? Then you may want to try Smartbe, the semi-autonomous stroller

By midian182 ยท 19 replies
Jan 22, 2016
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  1. If self-driving cars are the future, then can we expect the technology to eventually expand from vehicles into other, unexpected areas? One New York startup thinks so and has launched an Indiegogo campaign for a self-propelled stroller.

    Smartbe, which is marketed as "the first intelligent stroller in the world,” may not be able to do self-driving quite in the same way as smart cars, but it’s still got the potential to be the most technologically advanced stroller ever made.

    Smartbe uses a motion-tracking sensor to follow you around. The built-in engine propels it forward or backward without the need for physical contact, meaning it can move "uphill or while you're shopping or running," according to the campaign page.

    It also has an ‘assist propelled mode,’ which uses some of the engine power to help the stroller move about when it’s being pushed. You can also turn the engine off entirely and use the Smartbe like a traditional stroller.

    Smartbe also comes with wireless speakers so your baby can listen to his or her favorite tunes, a bottle warmer, three retractable canopies and a temperature-controlled bassinet with air filters. It can even charge your smartphone.

    “I know how uncomfortable it is to push an ordinary stroller through snow in Manhattan, up hills in San Francisco, or for a jog along the path through the heat and humidity of Miami,” Guillermo Morro CEO and founder of Smartbe told SFGate. “So, I set out to design a better stroller, one that combines all the greatest technology to give parents and babies a better experience.”

    As you would expect with an autonomous stroller, there are a plenty of safety features on the Smartbe. In addition to its directional signals, the stroller comes with internal and external cameras and an anti-theft alarm. There’s also a physical cord, similar to what you would find on a treadmill, that can be connected to a parent's wrist to ensure that the stroller doesn’t get too far away. "If the cord is pulled from the stroller it instantly stops," says spokesman Lance Laytner.

    Smartbe’s many functions can be controlled using an iOS or Android app, and you can expect its engine to last for about 6 hours.

    Unsurprisingly, this Rolls Royce of baby strollers comes at a premium price; the cheapest self-propelled model is $3099. In the few days it’s been active, the campaign has already reached almost $8000 – ten percent of its target – through 10 backers, but so far no one has ordered a self-propelled model.

    Should the campaign be successful, the semi-autonomous Smartbe is expected to ship in 2017. Check out the video below for more information on how your baby can be the envy of toddlers everywhere.

    Permalink to story.

  2. stewi0001

    stewi0001 TS Evangelist Posts: 1,629   +1,016

    Hmmmm overall.... No.

    It has some neat ideas and I love how it looks like it's something out of star trek, but I see too many issues. I don't know how easy it would be to hack and there are some crazy people that do try to steal babies. The video even shows the adults completely looking away from the stroller because of an alarm app built in. Reminds me of car alarms. They never mention the weight of the stroller, which is a big deal to me. I live in a hilly area and I could only imagine the possible failures there.
  3. Skidmarksdeluxe

    Skidmarksdeluxe TS Evangelist Posts: 8,645   +3,268

    It's doomed to failure if it doesn't have RGB lighting.
    Geforcepat and BabyFaceLee like this.
  4. BabyFaceLee

    BabyFaceLee TS Booster Posts: 117   +37

    Yet another invention solving a problem that doesn't exist...and potentially creating problems that don't yet exist. Next....
  5. PixelMediaArts

    PixelMediaArts TS Rookie

    This is dumb...

    We could have cured CANCER by now if it wasn't for nonsense like this infiltrating our lives... CANCER!
    BabyFaceLee likes this.
  6. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,404   +3,415

    Look at the irony in the photo above about exhaustion. As if having kids is not exhaustive enough, we have to go for a run.

    Parenthood exhausting expands beyond the age range of a stroller. This is not about exhaustion, it's about personal desires. And the lack thereof causing depression when having kids. And 9 times out of 10 this stroller will still not suffice.
  7. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 190   +155

    It kinda looks like they're just rendering the stroller in the vid instead of having an actual prototype. If they do have an actual prototype, I think the only use it will have is pairing it with someone who owns a DeLorean since they look so alike . . . Actually I take that back that would be an insult to the DeLorean.
  8. Camikazi

    Camikazi TS Evangelist Posts: 923   +283

    The thing does look a bit off in the video, I can't quite tell if it is just made to look not completely real or if they are adding it to the video in post. Something just doesn't look right about it in those moving parts.
  9. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    If you are a parent and can't handle pushing your kid around in a stroller, then wtf are you doing being a parent. Like parents even pay attention to their kids these days anyway. They are too busy looking at their "smartphones", which in turn alienates their kids, thus preventing them from having a normal childhood. The children then grow up without any bloody social skills, thus the continue decline in society as a whole. This proposed "stroller" just sounds dumb to me.
  10. nismo91

    nismo91 TS Evangelist Posts: 925   +31

    Semi-autonomous may be too much, but the "self propelled mode" may be useful if executed properly. im not sure if "hybrid" electric strollers are already in the market. I remember trying out the "hybrid" eneloop bicycle several years ago. it was pretty neat - when you're tired you can just switch on the motor and you will get some push with just a little pedal effort.

    but then again, electric strollers means it's heavier (to put into a car) and it means another thing to be charged on a daily basis.

    the idea is great if it weren't for babies. maybe one day we can have self-propelled trolleys in walmart or homedepot? lol
  11. cliffordcooley

    cliffordcooley TS Guardian Fighter Posts: 9,404   +3,415

    I wonder how long it will take before someone losses their kid. Because they kept on walking and texting, when their kid's stroller ran out of power.
  12. Evernessince

    Evernessince TS Evangelist Posts: 1,908   +1,107

    You missed one part though, 90% of parents do the same thing. I'm sure that if a stroller like this came out many parents will buy it. I'm sure they'll have to come out with a huge disclaimer as well because people are incredibly dumb and will definitely sue the instant a baby is stolen or falls off a cliff from negligence of the parent. Take a quick snapshot of modern society and what you get is significantly worse than 10 years ago.
    lripplinger and captaincranky like this.
  13. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,332   +135

    "Smartbe has One Year Life Guarantee."

    Can someone explain this to me?
  14. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,332   +135

    If a parent pushes a child from place to place that's supposed to make the child grow up much better than if the parent needs to use less force? That makes as much sense as saying that taking kids around on an electric bike is much worse for them than taking them on a normal bike.
  15. bmw95

    bmw95 TS Maniac Posts: 190   +155

    If the baby dies they send a replacement xD
    ET3D likes this.
  16. captaincranky

    captaincranky TechSpot Addict Posts: 12,754   +2,429

    Well, being 67 and not interested in children in the least, this is yet another crowd funded ripoff I'm going to pass on.

    Arguably, the 2nd year's model of this junk, would need to be fully autonomous to maintain an increasing sales profile. You know, "my stroller is better than your stroller because I don't have to get off my a** and go along". After all, what is the abject and rudimentary quality of life, if you have to take care of your own children, meanwhile missing "Keeping Up with the Kardashians".

    But, after yesterday's mammoth snowstorm, I might be persuaded to invest in a self-shoveling sidewalk venture.

    Anyway, the idea of jogging while the stroller accompanies you is ludicrous, if only due the the initial investment. Arguably, you should be able to push a stroller while jogging slower to compensate, and still reap the same cardio benefits. Or just power walk with the stroller you have now. You're much less likely to need hip joint replacements later in life, with a low shock exercise routine.
    Last edited: Jan 25, 2016
    lripplinger likes this.
  17. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

    In all fairness, the point I was making and simply should have said was this: I feel like they are trying to reinvent the wheel.
  18. DKRON

    DKRON TS Guru Posts: 569   +25

    So what happens if you're running downhill and the battery runs out, bye bye baby
    lripplinger likes this.
  19. lripplinger

    lripplinger TS Addict Posts: 283   +98

  20. ET3D

    ET3D TechSpot Paladin Posts: 1,332   +135

    Well, they're just doing what everyone is doing, trying to automate things more. There's nothing bad in that, the most you can say is that it's useless, but that's in the eye of the beholder. Pretty much every gadget you have is useless, it's just for fun or convenience. We can still make a fire to cook and read books for recreation.

    Is this stroller a big deal, no? But for some people it would be a hundred times more interesting and useful than a top of the line GPU.

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