If you love to travel but find the convenience of pulling a bag on wheels to be too cumbersome, there is now a suitcase capable of putting that work in the hands of a robot. The Cowarobot R1 is a suitcase straight out of Star Trek that follows you wherever you're going, so your hands remain free to do important things like finding the right emoji to express exactly how early your flight is.
With a GPS-enabled bracelet, the owner of the suitcase is able to have the suitcase follow wherever they are headed. It's designed to look out for impediments and chart a course around them. It also avoids drop-offs like stairs. Even more impressive, you can set your suitcase down, walk away, then double tap the bracelet and the suitcase will come find you. It's fully ready to play R2-D2 to your Luke Skywalker.
When the user is just walking along, the Cowarobot stays within arms reach and can travel up to 4.5 miles per hour. It's propelled by a pair of retractable wheels that are separate from the four non-automated wheels. When the user touches the handle, the autonomous motion shuts off and it becomes your average run-of-the-mill travel suitcase instantly.
Additionally, it automatically locks and can be unlocked by tapping the bracelet against the suitcase. Though it does have a combination on it as well to conform to TSA regulations and allow the owner to get inside when the suitcase is powered down.
And, good god, it does more. The power unit is removable, doubling as a portable charging station with USB ports for your phone. It also sets off an alarm on the bracelet once you move too far away from it, to remind you that you're leaving it behind. If it's, say, left in the taxi you took to the airport, Cowarobot has embedded GPS and its own app, so it can easily be tracked.
The company is currently crowdfunding the launch on Indiegogo, with an expected ship date slated for November. They've already hit 345 percent of their goal.
It's a pretty crazy package and the $499 price tag doesn't even seem that steep, considering a nice suitcase can easily run upwards of $150 and this is basically Rosie from The Jetsons. Though, it only comes with a one-year warranty. With something as new to the market and high-tech as this, you might hope for a little more than that. On the other hand, Tommy Callahan sold brake pads with no warranty and still made you feel good.