Robot Nannies: How An Artificial Intelligent Nanny Could Soon Babysit America's Children

By Amanda Moore, Parent Herald March 31, 04:00 am

Technology is paving the way for the emergence of robot nannies. Soon, these artificial intelligent (AI) machines could babysit American children.

For now, however, most robot nannies are simply showcased at product launches while some are marked for a market release in late 2017. Many of the models, however, come with limited or basic capacity as companion AIs since the concept of robot nannies is still evolving.

So what can robot nannies do? How helpful will these AIs be in the home?

"Think of them as nanny cams on steroids -- you can use them to monitor your kids from a distance, talk to them, entertain them, and do basic surveillance," University of California San Diego Professor Henrik Christensen said, as per Forbes. "So if you're in the next room or next door they can be useful."

Among those presented at a recent CES event include robot nanny Kuri, which is valued at $700, and robot nanny iPal, which comes from Avatarmind. These robots, shaped as humanoids, can interact and talk with the children.

These robots are also featured with games and social apps or video capabilities but they have limited movements. They also do not have the advanced capabilities of Rosie the Robot from "The Jetsons" just yet but the potentials are there.

One reason why robot nannies might appeal to American households is functionality, as per Tech Crunch. As with any devices, AIs can help make day-to-day routines and mundane tasks easier and seamless.

Another reason is it's cost-effective. The cost of employing an actual nanny runs from $18,897 - $41,664, according to Payscale. Think of how much families can save if they invest in a robot nanny. The initial purchase might be expensive but there will be minimal monthly fees.

Child experts, however, sees a backlash in having robot nannies as machines will replace and reduce children's human interaction. Some parents might also not warm up to the idea of a robot taking care of their children because of skepticism. After all, it's easier to gauge a human's intention and emotions than a machine.

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