Scheduled to ship this month (November 2016) to lucky travelers who will soon find their luggage to be less of a “drag,” the Cowarobot R1 suitcase employs an array of sensors and GPS technology to follow you through the airport, down the street or pretty much wherever your journey takes you.
The R1 looks like a regular rolling suitcase until you get a little closer. Aside from the fact that the bag is rolling along next to someone who isn’t pulling it, the beefy-looking set of motorized wheels with serious looking teeth are a giveaway that this piece of luggage is a little out of the ordinary.
The electronics and sensors that bring the R1 to life are located in the suitcase’s telescoping handle and powered by the 9.5-watt power bank that also provides power to the wheels and enables you to charge your electronics through USB ports tucked into the base of the handle. The power bank can be removed easily for airport security checks.
In Autonomous Mode, the R1’s “CO-Move” system processes the data from the sensors, dubbed “multi-sensor fusion” by the manufacturer and consisting of sonar, a depth sensor “CO-Eye” and a “Cliff detector” that prevents the bag from inadvertently tumbling down a step or off a curb as it follows you. The R1 will match your pace up to 4.5 miles per hour. If you have a need to move faster, you’re going to have to switch to manual mode by grabbing the handle which will cause the motorized wheels to retract and you’ll be on your own to drag your suitcase on the four non-powered wheels as fast as you’d like.
The suitcase tracks you through a bracelet that you wear and stays within arm’s length of the user while on-the-go. If you become separated from your bag, presumably within a short range, a double tap of the bracelet should send the R1 running toward you, avoiding obstacles along the way. If the distance between you and your bag is too great, the suitcase’s GPS locator will enable you to find it using an app on your smartphone.
The Cowarobot R1 has an MSRP of $699
More information is available at www.cowarobot.com
You can see a video of the R1 in action here: