Like a metal Mary Poppins, NannyBot is a robotic childminder that promises to keep an eye on your kids.
Created by U.S. startup Five Elements Robotics, NannyBot’s mission imperative is to follow your kids around and feed audio and video back to a parent’s smartphone, tablet or computer. It even boasts an optional basket accessory to hold children’s toys.
“If you’re a parent and your kids are in another room or outside playing, you want to make sure that you can oversee them,” CEO Wendy Roberts told Digital Trends. “With the NannyBot you can do this by using a robot and embedded camera, which lets you see and hear everything that’s going on with them. It works in one of two ways: Either you remotely control NannyBot using your phone, or there’s a sensor your child can wear which will make the robot follow them wherever they go. It’s a big step up from stationary nursery monitors because it can drive around. After all, kids are mobile.”
Building on the company’s existing Budgee robot personal assistant technology (read: remote-control shopping basket), NannyBot is around three feet tall and features a rechargeable battery that lasts for eight hours. It can be used indoors and outdoors during good weather and offers a variety of different language options and customizable messages that it can say to your children.
But will moms and dads be ready to have their kids monitored by a robot? “That’s an excellent question,” Roberts said. “My answer is that the robots are coming. They just are. What’s happened now is that the technology has matured and the pricing of the components has come down to the point where it’s affordable. We’re at a special time in history. I think in five years you’re going to see nanny robots in 75 percent of homes.”
NannyBot is currently available for pre-order at $1,699. It will be making an appearance as one of three Five Elements robots being shown at CES in January.