We all know how stressful traveling can be between making sure you packed everything on your checklist and, of course, making sure you have enough time to make your flights. I’m sure we’ve all experienced those scenarios where your flight’s gate is set to close within minutes and you’re frantically racing through the airport terminal, sometimes carrying bags of heavy luggage in the process that you have to maneuver with through the large bustling terminal crowds.
There are many factors that make traveling difficult, and I’m sure I speak for everyone when I say we’ll embrace any conceivable way to make traveling easier.
Based in San Francisco, Travelmate Robotics has found a particular way to ease some of the burdens that traveling bestows upon us. The company has developed the travelmate, a smart autonomous suitcase that’s capable of following wherever you go. The primary purpose of the travelmate is to make maneuvering through airports easier, especially during instances where time isn’t on your side.
“That’s especially true when your flight gets delayed and your gate gets changed,” says Travelmate Robotics CEO David Near. “I’ve traveled to over 30 countries and that experience gave me the idea for travelmate.”
The smart suitcase uses GPS and a downloadable smartphone app for you to track its movements, while enabling the device to keep tabs on your whereabouts so it knows where to go. The travelmate is capable of moving both horizontally, vertically, and can travel at speeds up to 6.75 mph to it can keep up in case you’re rushing to catch your flight. The travelmate’s design also enables you to place luggage on top of the suitcase to help lighten the amount of baggage you’re carrying while walking or standing.
“That combined with our background in robotics, gave us the first concept for travelmate,” says Near. “Since then, it’s evolved into a suitcase that’s meant to go almost anywhere with you. My personal hope is that it makes traveling easier and inspires people to innovate.”
The travelmate also comes with an array of features and accessories aside from being a mobile suitcase. The device is equipped with USB charging ports, a camera mount, and smart handle that can turn into a portable laptop desk or workspace. One of the travelmate’s most convenient accessories is its built-in scale that can let you ration out how heavy your luggage is to meet certain weight restrictions that many airlines have.
The smart suitcase also has built-in speakers that issue alerts when the travelmate approaches any potentially insurmountable obstacles. Capable of operating autonomously, the travelmate’s battery can support this mode up to four hours, while capable of lasting for 100 hours when it’s being used as a traditional suitcase. The travelmate is also TSA compliant.
Aside from having multicolored LED lighting, the travelmate comes in three different sizes with initial pricing estimated to be $400-600 depending on what suitcase size you purchase. The first deliveries of the travelmate are expected to come around June 2017.
Filed Under: M2M (machine to machine)