Smartbe is a ‘self-propelling’ stroller, but could you really go hands-free?

A New York City startup is hoping parents with newborns will go gaga for its unique take on the baby stroller.

For starters, the Smartbe intelligent stroller comes with a built-in electric motor that means you can go hands-free along the street. Slopes are no problem, with the motor powerful enough to take the Smartbe uphill and strong enough to stop it rolling away on the way down.

Sure, a hands-free stroller may sound a bit on the scary side considering your precious baby is strapped inside, but the Smartbe’s built-in sensors ensure the machine stays close to the user at all times – walk forward and it’ll automatically move forward; stop and it’ll immediately come to a halt.

For absolute peace of mind, the Smartbe, which the team says fulfills all U.S. and European safety regulations, also comes with a cut-out cord that connects the user to the stroller. Whether you pull the cord or it disconnects for another reason, the stroller will stop right where it is.

The Smartbe also offers an assist-propelled mode where the motor helps it along as you push, useful if you’re walking up a hill or carrying heavy bags.

Of course, you can also use it as a simple manual machine while continuing to make use of its other functions, many of which are controlled by the product’s smartphone app. These features include a built-in baby rocker, temperature control, an electric feeding bottle warmer, a wireless speaker, and an anti-theft sensor. It also incorporates a webcam so you can check on your baby if you’re in another room.

As you’d expect, its creators have also taken care to design a comfortable, easy-to-handle product with the kind of features you’d expect to see with any high-end stroller. For example, the Smartbe includes three different canopies offering protection from the sun, rain and insects, and also an adjustable handlebar and assisted folding.

The Smartbe has just launched on Indiegogo and is looking for funding to the tune of $80,000.

If it hits its target, not-so-smart versions of the stroller will sell for between $399 and $1,099, while the propelled versions start at a hefty $2,750. The team aims to have the stroller on the market by the end of this year, though the most advanced version might not be ready till April 2017.

What do you think of the Smartbe? Could you handle the idea of not handling your stroller? Sound off in the comments below.

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