It's one of those videos that seem hilarious until you actually start thinking about it. Babies riding Roombas -- a compilation video happening now on YouTube. What's not to love? It's shot after shot of babies sitting placidly atop moving Roombas. I don't know that everyone will find this video funny, but when I first saw it, I thought it had a kind of droll, absurd appeal. And then someone asked a super-boring but necessary question: Is that even safe?
Roombas, in case you're wondering, are those robotic vacuum cleaners that can navigate a room all on their own. A Roomba has mechanisms that help it avoid obstacles, I guess. But it was built to vacuum floors, not transport human children.
Anyway, now that I watch the video with a more critical lens, I can see how a kid could actually get hurt. Babies could smash their fingers -- not fatal, but still kind of crummy. Worse, they could bump into hard objects in awkward ways, like getting partially stuck under a coffee table with sharp edges. Hell, what's to keep that thing from falling down the stairs? I'm not familiar with Roombas, so for all I know, there's a safety feature that keeps that from happening. But who knows.
Anyway, the point is, Roombas are not manufactured to carry babies. So enjoy this video, be glad no one gets hurt, but definitely don't try this at home! Promise me? I would hate for anyone to see this video and then, inspired, plunk their own baby on their Roomba and watch as disaster ensues.
Do you think it's safe to let your baby ride a Roomba, or is this just asking for trouble?