The $4000 stroller that doesn't need a human to push it

The Smartbe intelligent stroller
The Smartbe intelligent stroller Photo: Smartbe

It's an invention that reminds you the future is well and truly here. Now progeny can roll in the most technologically-advanced stroller in the world - it's called the Smartbe intelligent stroller and is setting a whole new standard for the future of baby transportation.

For a start, you don't have to push it. In 'Self-propelled mode' the battery-operated stroller keeps a consistent safe distance from you as you walk or run, even uphill.

In 'assist propelled mode' you get a helping hand with the pushing, much like an electric bike where you still have to pedal, but aren't solely responsible for propelling it.

Of course there's 'manual mode' so you can use it just like a regular stroller.

Controlled by Android and IOS smartphones and smartwatches, the list of features includes a webcam, speaker, bottle warmer and an anti-theft sensor.

Here's the full list; they're probably either impressive or perturbing, depending on how you feel about automation of parenting technology.

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Smartbe founder Guillermo Morro told SFGate that he was compelled to design a self-prpoleed stroller after pushing his twins around in the heat of the Miami summer. Mentioning parents living in very hilly and hot areas, he said, "I set out to design a better stroller, one that combines all the greatest technology to give parents and babies a better experience."

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The Smartbe was fully funded on Indiegogo in 2016 and from all accounts has had considerable delays in production. Projected delivery date of December 2016 came and went so perhaps even the company is a little ahead of itself. The latest message from the company was, "Our company is doing fundraising to start the R&D process..." and they're issuing refunds to those promised strollers months ago. Still, it's an impressive concept and one we'll keep an eye on for news of release onto the market.

A stroller carries the most precious cargo imaginable, so could parents really see themselves going for a hands-free run, entrusting their babies to a machine?

The Smartbe crouches into its running position, creating a larger wheel base and bringing the carriage closer to the ground, and the handle is never more than a few inches from your hands.

It regulates its speed according to how far you are from the handle and a simple tap on the handle interface disengages the automatic mode. The company says that wheels 'adapt easily to rough surfaces and paths,' so you don't need to worry about tipping. 

Is this the way of the future or another over-designed parenting product? You be the judge.