Even Mary Poppins didn't have a bag this smart. OK, so maybe it doesn't have unlimited space inside, but NUA Robotics' intelligent suitcase isn't something you'll easily lose. You may lose sight of it but it won't lose sight of you. Combining camera sensor and Bluetooth connectivity, this robotic suitcase not only detects and identifies its owner, it also follows him or her around, navigating through streets and walkways to keep up with its human master. As long as its master doesn't go up the stairs, that is.
Luggage and suitcases are one of the biggest burdens to travel, both literally and figuratively. As such, they are the best recipients of life-changing technological innovation and creativity. We've already seen travel bags that you can locate easily with some form of tracking gizmo attached to the bag. NUA Robotics, however, does it the other way around.
This carry-on follows you wherever you go, rolling along the path and avoiding obstacles thanks to proximity sensors. It sends its location to the paired smartphone as part of its data. It also sends its weight, letting you know when you are under or over the allowed carry-on limit. And since we're talking about proximity here, that can also be used as an anti-theft alarm. Like any smart luggage these days, it can also charge your smartphone. Alternatively, you can charge it by pulling it along manually.
NUA Robotics envisions that the very same technology use for this suitcase can be used elsewhere, like on shopping carts that will also follow you while you comb through the aisles. While also convenient, that use case may help those with physical handicaps or poor motor skills. Whatever the case, in the end it's about making robotics more useful to everyday life and not just for entertainment or for factories.