We’ve all heard of emotional support animals, but what about an emotional support suitcase? This new robot suitcase from ForwardX, a Chinese robotics company, will never abandon you. It’s the world’s first suitcase that uses artificial intelligence to track your location and roll itself alongside you as you walk, leaving your hands free to multi-task.
We’ve reviewed plenty of smart suitcases, but this one is definitely at the top of the class. The Ovis uses an “obstacle-avoidance algorithm” to analyze the environment, figure out where you are, and avoid potential obstacles. It also comes with a wristband that will vibrate to alert you when the distance between your suitcase exceeds six feet. It also includes many other features we’ve seen on smart luggage in the past such as GPS tracking, a (removable) battery pack for charging your phone, and a weight sensor that links up to the app.
The Robot Suitcase Is Cool, But Is It Necessary?
At a price point higher than what most people pay to fly across the country and back, my first impression was that this robot suitcase seems a little excessive for the casual traveler. It brings to mind the image of the globe-trotting business traveler too busy checking email to roll his own luggage. However, on second thought, a hands-free suitcase would also make a huge difference for disabled travelers or anyone traveling with small children. It’s kind of cool and a little bit creepy, but overall it has the ability to make traveling through the airport a whole lot easier.
So Where Do I Buy a Robot Suitcase?
The Ovis is not yet available, but before it hits the market at the $800 price point, ForwardX is offering a great deal on its IndieGoGo page in order to raise funds; the suitcase is currently available for as little as $350.
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Jamie Ditaranto is a writer and photographer who is always looking for her next adventure. Follow her on Twitter @jamieditaranto.