Since starting this blog, I have come to realise some of the best new products are not coming from the big name brands. Instead, start-ups and smaller businesses are creating great looking and functional devices & luggage to rival the more established names.
To help them on their way from concept to the marketplace, these companies turn to crowd funding sites to get their idea off the ground. With such a huge selection currently on Indiegogo, I am running a week of specials, highlighting some of my favourite, available for backing now.
Travelmate Suitcase…………And Robot!
This next gadget could change the face of travel forever! At the very least, it is going to make travelling through airports a much more enjoyable experience for so many different reasons.
From the outside, this range of cases appears to be the same as most other hard shell luggage, with the exception of the futuristic LED lines. Yet, on the inside, there is an autonomous robot that will follow you around the airport, avoid other people and navigate around obstacles!!
Yes, you read that right.
How it Works
At the core of this marvel is the Travelmate app. I don’t want to burst your bubble but it is really your smartphone the case follows, not you. Once the Bluetooth connection is made between the two, then you are good to go.
There are a series of sensors around the Travelmate that help the case to detect and avoid other people and objects as it follows you around.
A motor on each of the large base wheels allows the case to travel in either a vertical or horizontal position. This brings me on to how the case can track so well to your movements. Travelmate calls it the Follow Me system, and the secret to it is in the Omni wheels.
The wheels have smaller, tube like wheels on their surface. This allows them to turn tighter, even roll completely sideways against the natural direction of the main wheels.
As you would expect the Travelmate has plenty of features you would expect on a smartcase.
The Lithium-ion battery that powers the motors can also be used to charge your other devices. With 2 external USB ports for on the go charging. The battery is also fully removable and can benefit from wireless charging.
Every case come with a detachable GPS chip. The small (Model S) version of the Travelmate is suitable as a carry on item, where as the M and L models need to be checked in. If the unthinkable happens and it is lost in transit the smartphone app will be able to locate your luggage anywhere in the world.
There is a built-in scale which you can program to show in kg or lbs via the app. Just lift the case up to show what the packed weight is. For additional security the Travelmate has a magnetic lock that can also be activated from your smartphone.
The Travelmate autonomous suitcase is fully functional and we have full app integration ready. Travelmate will constantly improve through machine learning. This is achieved by uploading movement data automatically to the Travelmate application; your suitcase will essentially become smarter and smarter as time goes on and more people have Travelmate suitcases. You can disable this feature in the app if you want to.
The Travelmate comes in three sizes, all of which are available on their Indiegogo page.
- Model S is $399
- Model M is $495
- Model L is $595
- So Much Love Package (SML one of each) is $1195
The real beauty about the Travelmate is that the programming will remain open source. This means developers can change and configure how the case will operate.
Open letter to the team at Travelmate……. Please, please, please make use of the on board speaker and LED system, work with the Star Wars franchise and give the world an R2-D2 Travelmate!