The suitcase, called Travelmate, stays three to five feet behind the owner by tracking the location of their smartphone. It moves either upright, or while laying on its side.
“Suitcases have not really changed for the past couple of decades. It is overdue for innovation,” said David Near, the CEO of Travelmate Robotics, the US-based company that developed the suitcase.
The suitcase would be useful for anyone – from business people to tourists to people with disabilities.
It has been tested successfully in shopping malls and sidewalks, said Near.
The prototype suitcase relies on an infrared sensor to detect and avoid bumping into objects or people, reported CNN Money. If the suitcase is more than 15 feet from its owner’s smartphone, an alarm will sound on the suitcase. There will also be an alert sent to the person’s smartphone.
The company is developing a workaround so the alarm will not go off in situations when it is normal to be separated from your bag, like checking a bag at an airport.