Russian Robot Suitcase
A Russian robot suitcase appears to be in the works. The suitcase will follow you around on holidays or business trips - even picnics. A card carried by the user sets the distance that the robot will maintain from you.
Here are the specs:
- 2 hour movement on one charge; the built-in battery charger comes with adapters for different countries
- ultrasonic, infrared navigation technology, allowing it to avoid obstacles and see people
- sensors to keep it away from stairs or other chances for it to fall
- lower bumper
- gyroscope to determine the level of the surface inclination and coordinate speed of movement on the inclined plane
- 3 wheels: 2 leading, third-shunting
- carries up to 30 kg
I like gadgets as much as the next guy; we'll see if this actually is produced and sells for 49,000 rubles. I was hoping for a feature that would allow it to climb into your trunk automatically, because I'll bet it's heavy.
Frankly, I think that John Brunner had a better idea in his 1975 novel Shockwave Rider - the autoporter:
...he nabbed an autoporter and - after consulting the illuminated fee table on its flank - credded the minimum: $35 for an hour's service...
From now until his credit expired the machine would carry his bag in its soft plastic jaws and follow him as faithfully as a well-trained hound, which indeed it resembled, down to the whimper it was programmed to utter at the 55-minute mark, and the howl at 58...
(Read more about Brunner's autoporter)
Update 16-Nov-2007: Here's a better example from Color of Magic by Terry Pratchett.
The massive wooden chest, which he had last seen rest solidly on the quayside, was following on its master's heels with a gentle rocking gait. Slowly, in case a sudden movement on his part might break his fragile control over his own legs, Hugh bent slightly so that he could see under the chest.
There were lots of little legs.
(Read more about Luggage)
Carrying the luggage seems to be one of the age-old concerns of mankind; take a look at some other efforts to address it:
Via Russia InfoCentre.
Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 11/13/2007)
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