Legions of travelers everywhere are sure to rejoice over a new prototype suitcase that follows users during their journey. This suitcase contains receivers that communicate with your smartphone to keep your luggage rolling along with you — hands free. It's called the Hop.
The Hop is designed to follow behind the user at a constant distance, but if the signal is lost the suitcase locks itself and a vibration is sent via the phone to alert the user. The bags can be programmed to follow one another or to be controlled jointly by any staff that may handle your luggage. The video below shows how the Hop works, diligently following its master.
Three different bits of tech in the Hop suitcase receive, identify and triangulate signals from a user's smartphone. A microcontroller calculates the suitcase's position relative to the phone, and keeps the case moving on its caterpillar tracks based on compressed air.
Judging by the size of the suitcase it seems to be meant for carry-on purposes at the moment, which makes sense since the beating checked bags takes might require the team to strengthen the cases defenses for larger bags. While they are still in prototype phase they may want to look at increasing the speed that the case can travel in case a last minute dash for the plane is required.
Though they are prototypes, these little robot suitcases provide a look at the future of travel accessories. I'm sure just knowing that one day we can save our backs with own little convoy of bags is worth a smile.