So if you are the globetrotter kind of person, it would make a whole lot of sense if you would just let your suitcase or luggage as the case may be, follow you around instead of dragging it till you're exhausted, wouldn't it?
Apparently, based on findings on human behaviour, a Beijing-based startup - FowardX Robotics has the solution to the problem outlined above.
Meet the Ovis, a suitcase equipped with two brushless electric motors (in which case one drives each of the rear wheels), multiple video cameras, and a Qualcomm Snapdragon chip running artificial intelligence-based computer vision algorithms.
That's not all, the suitcase is also said to have the capability of identifying obstacles such as other people and road pavements, automatically steering itself around them. Manual control or override of the Ovis can be done at any time by the user, using the suitcase just like any other normal one, just by grabbing its handle. However, it is done when its removable 96 Watt-Hour lithium-ion battery runs out of juice.
Should the user get separated from the Ovis by more than 2 meters (6.6 ft), a Bluetooth-linked SmartBand on their wrist will notify them. And if the suitcase is outright lost or stolen, the app can be used to track it via an attached GPS tag.
The Ovis can also carry clothes – 45 liters worth of them. The suitcase itself weighs a little under 4.5 kg (9.9 lb). It's currently the subject of an Indiegogo campaign, with a pledge of US$329 getting you an Ovis by December if it reaches production. The planned retail price is $799.
The following video shows the Ovis in action.