New robots and devices offer personal assistance to parents

Modern parents have an abundance of technology at their fingertips, which can be both a blessing and a curse; approximately one-third of Gen Y parents in the U.S. and UK think having mobile tech makes it easier to be a parent. From fertility tracking to help conceive, to prenatal communication devices for the duration of the pregnancy, to meetup apps to help new mothers make friends, technology is available through every step of parenthood. Now, new tech is materializing in the form of parental assistants, though how such offerings will stand up against privacy concerns (case in point: Mattel's Aristotle) remains to be seen.


The Kato app, billed as an “intelligent parenting sidekick” is like a specialized Siri for parents. Parents input data about their kid(s) and the more Kato is used, the more personalized results he gives. Using internet search results and personal input, Kato can provide answers to parenting questions, suggest activities, track milestones, and more. Kato serves as a digital personal assistant app for parents that becomes more helpful the more it learns the child(ren)’s behavior, including moments like bedtime, nap time, and eating schedule. 


There is a wearable tech device available for just about every function nowadays, and the Parent + Baby SmartBand claims to be the first intended specifically for new mothers. Along with smartphone text and app notifications and activity tracking of steps, sleep, and hydration offered by most wrist wearables, the SmartBand also logs events like breastfeeding, diaper changes, napping and bedtime schedules, and the child’s growth. The SmartBand sends messages of encouragement throughout the day and boasts a 30-day battery life per charge.


Standing at 3 ½ feet tall, the iPal is a high tech child robot companion. The iPal is a highly sociable version of a home robot; equipped with Bluetooth and Wifi connectivity, multiple cameras and microphones, and obstacle collision avoidance software, the iPal is very mobile and able to perform many functions. Parents can use the robot’s cameras to keep on eye on their children from another room, and kids can play interactive games with it. The robot is meant to be educational as well as entertaining, and is compatible with Android apps.