Tired of hiring those expensive and untrustworthy nannies for your kids? Meet iPal, a rolling, talking and intelligent robot that can take care of your children when you are too busy.
Created by AvatarMind, this two-year-old company is based in China and USA. It has created this robot to be a “full-time companion,” for your child/children, with a combination of a “cute cartoon outlook, fine craft work, natural language understanding technology and cloud apps, becoming your child’s best friend while taking care of his needs and safety.”
iPal uses an autonomous machine learning engine, so it can remember the preferences and interests of a person while absorbing the responses and reaction of the person to improve its performance. It can learn up to the calibre of a 4 to 8-year-old child, and also downloads data from the cloud to “increase its knowledge on subjects of interest to your child.”
Adding to the learning, iPal also has the capability to feel, touch, listen to speech and detect emotion using its state of the art sensors. It employs an emotion management system that has predefined responses to a sense of happiness, depression and loneliness; and it also builds on it as per the child’s response. It will celebrate with your child when he/she is happy and give them encouragement when they are down.
It uses its cameras to constantly take pictures and videos of the children, which can be monitored and accessed by parents on their phone. And you can use its apps to make sure that the child wakes up on time, eats his breakfast, brushes his teeth, etc. while having the satisfaction of monitoring using the pictures and videos.
An inbuilt Child Messenger app and video chat allows them to interact with other children using the robot, so they will also be making new friends safely.
The iPal uses 25 motors and has a 3-foot body. The robot moves around using its four-wheeled platform, and has a 6-inch LCD screen and a 3-watt sound system. So from telling your kid a bedtime story to answering his piercing questions, iPal can do it all! It, of course, refrains from answer more sensitive questions, and allows a parent to pre-feed a response for those queries. It also offers a platform for kids to learn programming on it.
The company says iPal can take care of children aged 3 to 8 for “a couple of hours,” for example when the children are home after the school but the parents are still at the office. But some sceptics have been campaigning against the usage of such robots, pointing out the dramatic emotional and mental problems a child can develop as a result.
It remains to be seen how well the robot is able to adapt and perform, but despite some legitimate concerns it still is a very interesting prospect to pursue.
What are your thoughts on this nanny robot and its implications? Let us know in the comments’ section below!