Facebook PixelA programmed cot that feeds, changes, entertains and shields a baby
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A programmed cot that feeds, changes, entertains and shields a baby

Image credit: Marie Despeyroux on Unsplash

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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic Jan 21, 2022
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A cot designed to do all the things that a nanny would such as rocking, feeding, changing and singing to a baby.
Why?
  • Save money by not hiring a nanny.
  • Perfect if you don't trust anyone to look after your child.
  • Usable when you're in or out of the house.
How it works
Four extendable hands are attached to each corner of the cot, which hoards nappies and prepared warm bottles. The four hands will change nappies and lower a bottle to the baby.
Parents can program, via the keypad, the cot when to feed, rock, play music and change the baby. If it's AI-powered, the cot changes the baby's nappies when it senses an odour. When it detects a baby crying, the AI will rock the cot and lower a bottle.
Surveillance
The cot can have a camera so that parents who are away can monitor the cot and instruct it to do what they want via an app. The cot's camera can be linked to house cameras. When the AI camera detects an intruder via the house camera, it shields the cot. That brings me to protection...
Protection
If AI-powered, the cot can shield the baby, covering it with titanium panels while providing oxygen. The cumbersome cot's weight will prevent intruders from picking it up, and the titanium panels will protect the baby from a fire or other hazards.
Do you think it's viable, and how would you make it better?
1
Creative contributions

Human presence is necessary for a growing child

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Povilas S
Povilas S Jan 21, 2022
I don't think that any of us would want to have a childhood where one was grown by a robot. And not the Steven Spielberg AI type of robot, but a robotized cot. Also, any developmental psychology book will confirm that this is not a good idea, especially if done extensively.
On one hand, the idea is valuable to an extent for situations where parents are super busy and there's no one to change the diapers or otherwise take care of the child, a job done by a robot is better than nothing, but on the other, this only promotes carelessness from parents side. If a mechanized system can take care of the child, there's more time for your business or whatever activities seem "more important" to you.
We already live in a "lack of time for everything" society. When technology saves time by doing practical chores for us it's good, but when it comes at a price of human connection and values, it's not.
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Darko Savic
Darko Savic4 months ago
All valid points. However... in this day and age, a program could do a better job than many parents. If done right, a software-based solution could do well for at least the initial several months. A robot could perfectly fake a parent. The problem arises when the baby begins to distinguish between the two.
Also, a bigger problem, as you point out, is that the parent would not go through a proper bonding/training period and thus more likely end up sucking as a parent.
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Povilas S
Povilas S4 months ago
Darko Savic You took an extreme case example of a malevolent parent. Of course, it's better to be raised by a robot than to be killed or abused by your true parent. But then the question arises why have kids in the first place if they are to be raised by mechanized systems?
For cases where children already lack normal or any parents, robots are arguably better than a foster home. But anyway, humans need contact with humans, at least until AI will reach a level of sentience.
I'd say that at this point a child can distinguish between the two if not on conscious then on a subconscious level of feelings and physiology. Even an animal parent is better in that regard than a robot parent. Physical contact, talking (even if the child doesn't understand you), facial expressions, etc. are super important for baby's development.
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Goran Radanovic
Goran Radanovic4 months ago
Yeah, I see what you're saying about the psychological aspect. The idea with this is for the cot to serve as a substitute only for those occasions when the parent absolutely cannot attend to the child. But I can see how parents could exploit this and let the cot do the job that they should be doing when they do have the time.
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General comments

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Danny Weir
Danny Weir4 months ago
As someone who has experienced changing a baby's nappy on several occasions, I can officially confirm that there is absolutely no way a machine could do it. No matter how advanced the AI is, it would be impossible for a robot to traverse this "dangerous" situation and ensure that the job was done well. First of all, the removal of a nappy and cleaning the area thoroughly is a complicated task at the best of times. Would the robot be gentle enough? Would it ensure that all areas are clean and taken care of? What if the baby has special requirements or ailments such as nappy rash?
Putting on a new nappy is a wole different ball game. You have to deal with unexpected body fluid excretions during the process, being able to hold the baby in a suitable position without them moving around everywhere (do we want a robot to be forcing our babies into a position and "holding" them there?).
This could definitely be suitable for feeding, I love this idea. Rocking, playing music, snuggling and the protective measures are all outstanding ideas, too! However, we have to accept there are just some things robots will never be better than us at. Emotion, gentleness, caring, all things that are absolutely essential for babies.
I'm more than happy for a robot to make my coffee and eggs in the morning, but they should leave the nappy changing to the professionals, parents.
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