It seems we're surrounded by "intelligent" objects in our daily lives now -- smartphones, smartwatches, even smart thermostats. But one thing most of us probably haven't expected to go high-tech is our luggage. That's all changing with the world's first "intelligent" suitcase, a robot named Olive created by the German design team IKAP-Robotics.
Olive is more than just a place to store your clothes when you go on vacation — it actually interacts with its user and navigates itself through crowded hallways and terminals. With a Segway-like two-wheeled balancing system, it maintains perfect balance and maneuverability even surrounded by heavy foot traffic. The robot is able to recognize and follow its owner using a 3D image processing system and built-in proximity sensors. With the turn of a knob, the suitcase can be transformed into a two-wheeled vehicle that tired travelers can use to propel themselves quickly.
That’s not all that Olive can do. The bag is equipped with an alarm that will alert you if you accidentally leave it behind, as well as an automatic lock to keep your travel gear safe when it’s not in use. If your bag gets lost? Not a problem — it’s equipped with GPS and 3G/4G technology so you can track it no matter where the bag is in the world.
The suitcase even comes with a partner app that automatically weighs your luggage for you, helping you avoid costly extra fees at the airport. As if that weren’t all good enough already, it’s also equipped with a 10,000 mAh battery so you can keep your phone and devices charged throughout your journey.
Recently, Olive was awarded first place at Germany’s Start Up World competition in the service robotics category. Though Olive isn’t yet ready for mass production, the creators are looking for investors to help bring their vision of “one person, one robot” to life.