Last updated July 31st 2016
Traveling can be a serious hassle, especially during the hectic summer season. Waiting at airport lines, shvitsing through security and shlepping your luggage are not activities you look forward to on your way to a dreamy vacation.
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Now, Israeli startup NUA Robotics plans to make your travel experience that little bit easier, with its newly developed hands-free carry-on suitcase that follows you around, just like a loyal pet.
“By combining central networks and computer vision, the robot inside the luggage recognizes the user,” Alex Libman, CEO of NUA Robotics, tells NoCamels. Simply put, the carry-on has a built-in camera that detects the location of its owner. The case connects to a smartphone app via Bluetooth, so you knows where your luggage is at all times.
The luggage is able to do more than just follow you around and carry your clothes. It can charge its own battery on the go, as well as charge your phone, computer, or tablet. It can also communicate its weight through the app, and it has a built-in anti-theft alarm.
The alarm will react if the distance you and your luggage becomes larger than 10 meters. And if you forget your luggage somewhere, it will send you a notification to your smartphone.
Founded in early 2015, NUA – which means “move” in Hebrew – has raised $125,000 in funding from venture capital firm SOSV, and is currently raising its seed round.
The company believes that our objects should become our personal assistants by helping us with everyday tasks. “Our vision is to transform things around us into smart robots,” Libman says. In the future, the company plans to apply similar technologies to shopping carts and possibly autonomous cars down the road.
The company’s NUA suitcase, which it plans to launch later this year, is one of the first in the world to introduce the idea of robotic luggage.
NUA expects to price the suitcase at $599; about six times the price of average same-size suitcases, which cost about $100. While the luggage is snot yet available for consumers, they can register to purchase it on the company’s website.
The design of the luggage is slick, but basic, made to fulfill airlines’ carry-on sizing standards and with handles for when the traveler chooses to forgo the “follow me” function.
Despite the exciting features that come in this robotic carry-on suitcase, there are still a few kinks NUA has to figure out. For example, the pace of the bag is currently set to slow/medium, so the company might have to further customize it based on the speed of the user.
Soon enough, we’ll get to watch people sprinting to make their connections and see their loyal luggage running right beside them.
Photos and video: Courtesy