​This Travelmate Suitcase Is Smart Enough to Follow You Around the Airport

​It has GPS tracking and a built-in scale to save you from other airport strife

Going to the airport is kind of like taking a chance with the devil these days. You could get dragged off your flight. A scorpion could fall from the overhead bin and sting you. The beverage cart could run out of mini vodka bottles.

This motorized suitcase, called Travelmate, aims to make your trip a bit smoother by hauling your stuff around for you. Designed by a robotics team in San Francisco, the hands-free luggage monitors your position and matches your speed through a phone app. The company calls it the “first true robot companion.” Just don’t expect it to grab a beer in the airport bar with you.

It can go up to 6.75 mph, which is faster than the average brisk walk, but it won’t keep up with you when you sprint to make that 15-minute layover. For hectic moments like those, pull up the handle (which can also turn the suitcase into a desk). In case the little buddy does get away from you, the suitcase comes with GPS chips you can attach and monitor through your phone.

 The suitcase uses sensors, artificial intelligence, and data collected from other Travelmate suitcases to detect obstacles and learn about your walking habits and quirks over time. According to its Indiegogo pitch, this technology has been applied to Tesla cars before, but never suitcases. Also like a car, the Travelmate has LED blinkers to signal which direction it’s heading. Unlike most drivers, the suitcase is polite enough to actually use them.

All of that tech takes up less than five percent of the suitcase’s volume, which also includes a built-in scale so you never break the weight restrictions. Considering airline fees these days, that’s pretty good news.

The suitcase runs on a rechargeable battery that lasts up to four hours when in full autonomous mode. The suitcase can move standing upright or laying horizontally, which gives you the option to stack other items on top of it like a game of travel Jenga. It comes in three different sizes, starting with a carry-on for $399 on Indiegogo.

Pair it with this folding travel jacket from North Face, and you might—keyword: might—have a positive airport experience.

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