Whenever you have a good idea, you can be sure someone, somewhere has got the same idea, and has probably already built a prototype or even a business out of it.
In the internet age, you’ve gotta move fast if you’re going to succeed in the making business. Or maybe try and think of an entirely original idea no one can steal.
So it was that we were thinking if we could find a robotic suitcase to take on our travels this year, to industry events and such. And sure enough there’s at least three we found on the market, and probably several others we don’t know about or haven’t got time to list.
Below are the ones we found, in no particular order or preference, although we may express opinions from time to time – it’s a free world.
Although we said the list is in no particular order, it seems appropriate to start with this company, since looks to be the most advanced.
Olive Robotics claims its suitcase is “the only suitcase in the world that able to follow you autonomously, even if in crowded situation”, and judging by the little animation showing the tracking system, it looks quite impressive.
The company won an award for its innovation at Automatica, a robotics and related technology event, and looks to all geared up for commercialisation, although the price of one these things is not easy to find.
The decisive factor in favour of this solution, however, is probably the fact that it can be attached to a segway-style vehicle to scoot yourself around what are often very big transport hubs where you can end up walking for miles.
This looks suspiciously like another robotic suitcase we’ve seen online – maybe it’s all the same people.
But Travelmate Robotics describes itself as another startup company, and like Olive, is looking to sell out as fast as possible to whoever is willing to stump up the cash – at least this time it’s their product, hopefully.
Industrial espionage – and spying of all types – is commonplace in this day and age, and probably always was. Although we’re not saying Travelmate is the product of James Bond, it does look like something else we know about.
But then everything looks like something else, right? Just like all smartphones now look like the iPhone… but why not the Blackberry?
Anyway, plenty of thoughts to ponder on during your travels.
Its makers call the Cowarobot R1 “the world’s first carry-on size robotics suitcase that stays with you at all times”.
By that they probably mean it’s small enough to be taken on board a transport vehicle, such as a plane, as hand luggage.
That could be useful to some people who like to travel light and only have hand luggage, or those who travel heavy and want the extra space provided by the hand luggage.
The name is unexplained, but from the images it looks like reasonable and functional device, although we haven’t tested it.
Cowarobot looks to be a Chinese company, and has already launched another version of its robotic suitcase.
As mentioned, there are probably lots of other robotic suitcases on the market. We’ll try and bring you more, but who really needs them right now anyway? We’ll probably wait a while, until there’s more choice, before we think about buy one anyway – but then you already knew that.