StrollerController Free Parents From Menial Labor

Raising young children is hard work, and parents need all the help they can get. There’s a whole industry catering to parents who are willing to pay to make their lives a little easier. Then, we have hacker minded parents like [Sam Pearce] who build his own solutions like joystick-controlled motorized strollers. His kids have fun taking their first steps into independent autonomy, dad has freed up his hands from pushing strollers, and everyone wins!

We were impressed when we saw [Sam] and his StrollerController zipping along at Maker Faire Bay Area 2019. Normally the only way young children get to control their own vehicle is in a field of bumper cars or a constrained track like Autopia. These lucky kids can drive around without being constrained by pen or track. This will give them a great early start on their driver’s license test, assuming autonomous vehicles haven’t taken over by the time they grow up.

The StrollerController we saw is a two part affair, each capable of independent operation:

StrollerController v1 is a stroller enhanced with motor gearbox from cordless drills driving rear wheels. Its top speed can be constrained by a limiter depending on the child pilot’s driving proficiency. It also has a bright red emergency stop button on top, plus a remote controlled kill switch held by a supervising adult.

StrollerController v2 is a pusher module equipped with much faster wheelchair motors under an grownup-sized standing platform. Welded to the front is a pair of brackets to dock with either a regular non-motorized stroller or StrollerController v1. The linked system delivers expedient travel for both parent and child.

For such a display of inventive ingenuity and resourcefulness, this project won a well-deserved Editor’s Choice ribbon from Maker Faire. We hope such recognition and enthusiasm from other Maker Faire attendees helped motivate [Sam] as he continues to improve StrollerController.

10 thoughts on “StrollerController Free Parents From Menial Labor

    1. The system is equipped with a redundant collision avoidance system: Two independently trained neural networks, each of which continuously processes stereoscopic visual input from different perspectives.

      (The kid driving the stroller and the adult holding the remote kill switch.)

    2. It’s on the road-map. First wireless control then ledge and obstacle avoidance….but otherwise my primary driver is damn good. Navigating the crowds at Maker Faire there was only one collision. When someone walked backward into the side of the stroller…

  1. Not at all sad! I’ve seen this in action. It was not built for freedom from children… It was built for freedom for children. Kids love it when they have some control, freedom & responsibility. If you read the article, an adult still needs to be with them, but it gives the adult a free hand to hold & “drink his tea”, or to hold another child’s hand, etc.

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