Well, file this under truth is stranger than fiction: a Northern Italian town recently christened the "cradle of life" baby drop box in hopes of curbing the 400 or so annual incidents of new born babies being dumped in trash bins, open fields, public toilets...you get the idea. The first or several planned $7,500 cradles is installed in a woman's shelter for single mothers and works as follows: when someone opens the metal flap of the box, an alarm sounds notifying social workers inside. The baby's weight triggers a sensor causing the box to warm-up and then sends a second, time-delayed signal to social workers while simultaneously sending a call to nearby ambulance services. It's no coincidence that the first of these is installed in the town of Padua where for nearly 500 years a lazy Susan-like device would spin unwanted children into the orphanage. Ahh, progress.
All products recommended by Engadget are selected by our editorial team, independent of our parent company. Some of our stories include affiliate links. If you buy something through one of these links, we may earn an affiliate commission.