What’s the worst part about air travel?
While ‘the threat of being beaten to a pulp’ is certainly a valid answer these days, a robotics team in San Francisco is banking on the fact that having to drag your luggage around the airport is still the most aggravating thing about the whole experience.
That’s why they’ve come out with the Travelmate, a motorized suitcase that does the hauling for you. The hands-free luggage – which tracks your position and matches your pace via a mobile app – has been deemed the “first true robot companion” for your travel needs.
The little guy can travel up to 6.75 mph, which is faster than the average power-walk but not quite fast enough to keep up with those sometimes-necessary airport sprints. If you do find yourself needing to dash, you can pull up the handle (which can also turn the suitcase into a desk). And if you somehow lose sight of it, after all, the suitcase has a GPS chip you can track with your phone.
The Travelmate uses sensors, artificial intelligence and data gathered from other Travelmates to stay on top of obstacles and learn about your personal walking habits. The super-smart suitcase also comes with LED blinkers to let everyone in the vicinity know which direction it’s going, as well as a built-in scale to keep you from exceeding weight restrictions.
The only thing the Travelmate can’t do, it seems, is fend off brutish airport authorities for you. Best not skimp on those upper body workouts (no longer required for suitcase-lugging), after all.
h/t Men's Health