A year ago, Travelmate Robotics raised $793,538 in an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign. No one thought a suitcase that follows you round the airport would be making its debut at the largest consumer electronics show – CES – just 12 months later.
What’s unique about this robotic suitcase is it’s not just a gimmick. How many times have you tried to juggle your passport, plane tickets, hand luggage and maybe a child or two across an airport? Bit tricky, isn’t it?
The Travelmate suitcase will make your experience somewhat more relaxed. It lights up with different patterns and responds to voice commands to make sure you don’t have to use hands at all to wheel it around.
It features USB ports for charging devices, so you never run out of juice while you’re travelling, a smart lock so you won’t have to fumble around with a padlock, speakers if you want to stay entertained with some tunes and even sensors that stop it bumping into obstacles or other passengers as it follows you around.
“Travelmate integrates with your smartphone to accomplish complex tasks that no other suitcase can do,” the company explained. “It can move vertically or horizontally with ease. You can put more items or perhaps another suitcase on top of Travelmate when it is traveling autonomously in horizontal mode.”
All this tech does come at a cost though. The luggage starts at $1,100, which is a significant jump up from a standard suitcase, unless you’re a designer suitcase fiend.
What makes the Travelmate automated suitcase even more attractive is that third party developers will soon be able to create their own apps to add extra functionality. Travelmate itself will also continue developing for the suitcase too, including allowing customers to book plane and other tickets straight from their suitcase.