Thanks to this new hands free suitcase, carrying around heavy luggage may soon become a thing of the past. Designed by Israeli company NUA Robotics, this ‘smart’ suitcase is the technological equivalent of Mary’s little lamb – it’ll follow you everywhere you go.
The carry-on suitcase, currently a prototype, connects to a smartphone app via bluetooth. It has a built-in camera sensor that can ‘see’ you and follow you around on flat surfaces like airport floors. It comes with an anti-theft alarm to prevent someone snatching it away when you’re not looking, and, for the icing on the cake, it has a backup battery that you can use to charge all your devices.
Photo: NUA Robotics
“It can follow and carry things for people around while communicating with their smartphone, and avoiding obstacles,” explained Alex Libman, founder of NUA Robotics. “We’re combining sensor network, computer vision, and robotics. So if you download our app, press the ‘follow me’ button, the luggage recognizes the specific user and knows to follow and communicate.”
Photo: NUA Robotics
NUA is still testing the device and trying improve features like speed and customization, but they hope to make the suitcase available to customers in a year’s time. If it proves successful, they want to use the Bluetooth pairing technology to automate lots of other devices, like shopping carts at the supermarket. These devices are especially meant to be useful to the physically disabled and elderly. “Any object can be smart and robotic,” Libman told Mashable. “We want to bring robots into everyday life.”
The Israeli tech company made it clear that the smart suitcase they recently unveiled is just a prototype, and that the finished product will look just like a regular suitcase. They’re planning to partner with a carry-on luggage maker, since the device that makes it ‘smart’ weighs just 2.5 pounds and can be fitted on old-fashion luggage.
Having to carry around heavy luggage is literally a burden, so NUA could be on to something with their smart suitcase, but it will be interesting how their invention will handle tough obstacles like stairs.