Aerial of Mattel headquarters. Photo by Jelson25 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Aerial of Mattel headquarters. Photo by Jelson25 [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons.
Mary Poppins may be obsolete as Mattel has a new robot nanny taking care of your kids.

Mattel Inc. announced Wednesday that its nabi brand has developed “a first-of-its kind” connected kids-room platform — a system called Aristotle — together with such technology heavyweights as Microsoft, Qualcomm Technologies Inc. and Silk Labs.

The world’s biggest toymaker said in a statement released from its El Segundo headquarters that unlike other voice-activated, artificial intelligence- driven connected home platforms, Aristotle is designed to help parents protect and nurture their children.

Mattel plans to begin selling the voice-activated kids connected-room hub and camera bundle this summer. The device is expected to retail for $300, Bloomberg reported.

In the meantime, the company will unveil Aristotle at the annual Consumer Electronics Show taking place this week in Las Vegas.

Aristotle has been compared to Amazon’s Echo device, although it has been configured to address the needs of children. It is equipped with a camera, microphone and speakers that can connect to Wi-Fi and Bluetooth, and it can respond to children’s commands.

The Mattel statement said Aristotle is designed “to comfort, entertain, teach and assist during each development state — evolving with a child as their needs change from infancy to adolescence.”

In building Aristotle, Mattel’s nabi brand focused on addressing parents’ biggest concerns regarding security, privacy, and ease of use, according to the company.

“Aristotle’s artificial intelligence will also have a unique personality that will appeal to parents and kids and will be presented as the great descendent of Aristotle himself,” the statement said.

While current platforms activate devices that must be purchased separately, set up individually and may or may not be compatible with each other, Mattel said “Aristotle incorporates AI, voice, sight and sounds into its hub and camera, providing an all-in-one solution that simply works together.”

Its capabilities enable it to perform specialized functions autonomously, including helping sooth a crying baby, purchase diapers or find online deals, reinforce good manners in tots, and even help them learn a foreign language, according to Mattel.

Aristotle can automatically play a lullaby and turn lights on dim when it hears a sleeping baby begin to cry, according to Mattel. For a toddler, the dynamic lighting system will light up green or red to acknowledge if the child has answered a question correctly during a voice-activated learning lesson.

—City News Service

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