A new autonomous suitcase follows its owner around like a puppy. Travelmate, developed in San Francisco, stays connected with its user via an app and doesn’t need to be dragged or carried. The robotic case, which can travel at up to nearly 7 mph, can be positioned either horizontally or vertically and can even avoid obstacles in busy airport terminals. David Near, CEO of Travelmate Robotics, explains why traveling light just got a whole lot easier.
How does Travelmate work?
It follows you via your smartphone. It's never farther than between 3to 6 feet away from you and it won't lose you. In fact it includes sensors that allow it to avoid obstacles and crowds of people. And omni wheels allow it to make very precise adjustments.
Is this suitcase totally safe for users?
Yes, of course. We're 99 percent sure that Travelmate won't go fully terminator. It is TSA compliant.
What functions does Travelmate have?
What's extraordinary is that there is no limit to the applications of this robot. Obviously it's a self-moving suitcase. But it can also be a camera operator, personal assistant or a security robot for when you're not home. We're always going to be updating our app so that Travelmate will have new features.
If you look at how smartphones developed, you'll see that they started out with one function, and now they can do thousands of different things. That's what we want to do with Travelmate.
Tell us more about the camera integration
Sure, Travelmate is a robot and one great application of that is to use it as a camera operator. So if you're traveling on your own or don't feel like filming yourself, then you can use Travelmate to film things for you.
Can Travelmate negotiate rough surfaces?
Yes, it works on most terrain. It has omni wheels that make tiny adjustments on the fly and it can go up to 6.75 mph, so it can handle rough surfaces.
Travelmate sounds like an expensive suitcase...
On the contrary, it is at least $100 cheaper than any other smart suitcase and they don't drive by themselves. Our suitcase is very affordable and starts at $399 if you order it via our Indiegogo page. Don't forget that it's a suitcase, computer and robot all in one.