In America the first self-propelled stroller is developed. This stroller, called the SmartBe, moves itself along with the help of an electric motor. Through an ingenious system the stroller is always driving before you without physical contact. According to the designers, you’re always in control as father or mother if you walk or run behind it because it’s connected with your smartphone or smartwatch. The SmartBe was developed for urban walks but jogging is also possible by adjusting the frame.
The stroller is equipped with more than 10 additional technological features such as a travel cot with climate control, electronic screens for bright sunlight, rain and insects, a bottle warmer, a rocking function, smartphone loader, automatic power folding, an electronic locker, anti-theft sensor and wireless speakers!
If you combine this with the minimalist and sleek design, I must say, ‘I’m impressed.’ There already are strollers on the market that work with a battery that makes pushing a lot lighter, but I have never seen one before that moves itself forward without human contact. If you want one, this intelligent stroller is not cheap: the most luxurious version costs around US$ 3,200, for the cheaper version with assist propelled mode you pay US$ 2,800.
The SmartBe stroller meets all safety requirements in the US and Europe, I read. As much as I admire the technique, I have some questions. Is handsfree running with this stroller really safe? There are plenty of stories about strollers which fell of the
train platform or drove into the ditch. Typical cases of: forgot to use the handbrake and forgot to hold the handle bar … What if there is a fault with your smartphone or if other signals are picked up? Is it not motorized traffic according to the law and therefore has to meet certain requirements? What if you are running with say, 10 km per hours and the stroller hits a loose stone and tips over?
Is that perhaps the reason why the SmartBe is also available in a manual version? In that case it’s for US$ 1000 a lot cheaper!