A California company has launched an Indiegogo campaign for a self-directed suitcase that it says will obediently follow you. There’s no need to grab its handle and carry it along.
This suitcase stays three to five feet behind a person by tracing the location of their smartphone. It moves either upright, or while lying on its side.
The CEO of Travelmate Robotics, David Near said; “Suitcases haven’t really changed for the past couple of decades. It’s overdue for innovation”.
David visualizes the suitcase as being useful for pretty much anyone; from business people to tourists, to the disabled. The Travelmate comes in three sizes, selling for $399, $495 and $595. It tops out at 6.75 mph.
“For a lot of things, having a self-directed suitcase is much more comfortable,” said David, 61, who decided a year ago that it would be cool to have a robot companion as he traveled the world.
The suitcase has been tested successfully in shopping malls and sidewalks. He is not concerned about the suitcase hitting into something in a crowded airport or train station.
The sample suitcase depends on an ultraviolet sensor to sense and avoid objects. But the final version, which will be shipping next year, is likely to have a different sensor, perhaps a camera or radar.