An American start-up has come up with a unique robot concept which it believes will bring about a sea-change in the way people at large view robots. Named Travelmate, the robot suitcase can not only move on its own but can also chip in with a host of other functionalities as well.
Designed by SMP Robotics, it is the love of robots and traveling that has been the driving force behind the 26-member team that conceptualized the Travelmate. The way the entire robot industry has been shaping up the world over along with the inherent desire to bring about a change to it is also another factor for the team to come up with the Travelmate.
As described by Travelmate Robotics CEO and founder David Near, 62, researchers have either been engrossed in developing what Near described as humanoid ‘proof of concept’ robots or commercial/industrial robots.
“I’ve always wanted to make a functional robot that acts as an extension of yourself and is a friend that helps you out,” said Near explaining the rationale behind coming up with the robot suitcase.
Near also explained the Travelmate is every bit a functional suitcase. With all its robot gadgetry taking up just 5 percent of internal space, the rest is there for you to pack in all your stuff, The Star mentioned. It comes in three size options and weighs just 3 to 5 kilos. The team though is working towards further reducing the weight though they did not reveal any figure they wish to attain for its weight.
The Travelmate also come equipped with GPS, which helps in locating the suitcase. So gone are the worries of losing your suitcase ever again. Then of course it will be following you automatically and can attain a max speed of 10.8 km/hr in the process, is enough speed to tail you even while you are in real rush. It even has turn indicators to signal which way it is turning while following you, with the option to change the color of the LED turn indicator lights as well.
For security, the Travelmate comes with a fingerprint sensor with your fingerprint as the key to open the lock. It offers a USB port too, which can be used to charge your smartphone, camera or other such devices. Also of course it has the sensors it needs to avoid any obstacles that might come in its way.
Near though believes it is just the beginning before we end up seeing the Travelmate perform thousands of other tasks. For instance, it can be made to play chess or other games with you using voice commands besides acting as a camera operator too. Then it has a built-in speaker as well.
Priced at $539 for the standard model, the Travelmate will reach showrooms around July 2017. However, those who order via Indiegogo will be provided the suitcase a month earlier. As for its Indiegogo campaign, the company successfully reached its goal of $4,000 within a day itself and has already over-subscribed by 500 percent so far.