Carry on luggage is one of the most painful aspects of travelling.
Dragging unwieldy carry on luggage through airport lounges and extensive gate systems can be troubling and difficult, and is exacerbated by poorly constructed travel cases that inhibit freedom of movement and snag easily.
While we’ve seen an explosion in travel suitcase technology over the last few years, such as GPS tagging, in-built charging batteries, self-packing systems and more, one particular crowdfunding campaign has stood out from the rest, promising to completely revolutionize the airport experience.
The Travelmate, created by Travelmate Robotics, a San Francisco based tech startup, is one of the most exciting kickstarter campaigns we’ve seen in recent years.
Already tens of thousands of dollars deep in support just a few days out of the gate, the Travelmate Kickstarter campaign has been picked up by international new giants such as CNN Money, The Huffington Post, USA Today and more.
Presenting itself as the world’s first fully autonomous robot suitcase, the Travelmate delivers what frequent flyers have been dreaming of for countless years- a smart, self propelled travel case that follows you around the airport with no need to carry it yourself.
Working flawlessly in large crowds, free from the need for extra gadgets or peripherals, and cheaper than many analogue suitcase solutions, the Travelmate offers a wide range of extra features in addition to its revolutionary robot functions.
In this article we’ll provide a detailed breakdown of the Travelmate story, with detailed information on the construction, design and feasibility of this far-reaching kickstarter campaign to help you decide if the Travelmate is worth backing.
What is the Travelmate?
The Travelmate is a breakthrough in luggage design and applied practical robotics technology. More than just a simple suitcase, the Travelmate is a fully autonomous robot buddy that follows its owner wherever they go.
Smart enough to navigate large crowds and complicated obstacles with an on-board processor, the Travelmate is the culmination of several years of research and development.
Utilizing a broad range of smart sensors and complex software engineering, the Travelmate allows for unrestricted freedom, whether traversing through packed airport lounges or following its owner on the way to work.
A bevy of intelligent features such as “follow me” user tracking, GPS location, and discrete & comprehensive control from a custom designed iOS and Android application allow for the easiest, smoothest travel experience available.
The Travelmate functions in one of two primary modes, horizontal or vertical. Powered by a high capacity lithium ion battery, the Travelmate power source can easily be removed and charged wirelessly, allowing for hot swapping of battery backs during lengthy trips.
An on board battery charger allows users to power any USB device, and smart omni-wheels provide smooth movement in any direction.
Intelligent artificial intelligent software provides the brains of the Travelmate, allowing the suitcase to learn the optimal movement routines, delivering unparallelled stability and range of motion.
Travelmate is simple to use- paired with a smartphone or device using the app, the Travelmate will follow its owner wherever they go with no direction or control needed.
With a battery life of four hours when in full autonomous mode and over 100 hours in standby mode, the Travelmate battery is large enough to provide long lasting charge for international flights.
The motor, battery and brains of the Travelmate take up almost no space at all in the suitcase, accounting for less than 5% of the total suitcase volume.
Multicolored LED lighting around the exterior of the case presents an innovative method of displaying battery life, and can be controlled through the proprietary Travelmate app.
The LED lights also provide an indicator of the travel direction of the Travelmate at all times, with an additional speaker that notifies the user of obstacles and location information.
In addition to functioning as a fully self-controlled robot companion, the Travelmate can also be converted into a portable work desk for travelling professionals, and offers a separate valuables compartment that allows for the easy removal of devices that can’t be stored in the suitcase for extended periods of time.
Fully TSA compliant, the Travelmate is carry-on sized and meets international requirements for carry on specifications.
Locking and unlocking the Travelmate uses one of the most futuristic biometric systems we’ve seen in a luggage solution, utilizing a fingerprint sensor in addition to a mechanical key system for security & redundancy.
Two separate GPS keyring chips are included with the Travelmate case, allowing users to track their property at all times.
One of the most convenient and innovative features of the Travelmate is a built-in scale that weighs all of the contents of the suitcase, streamlining the packing process.
Design & Construction
The Travelmate is available in three different sizes- small, medium and large. Travelmate S, the smallest solution, is carry-on compliant and sized at 21.7 x 7.9 x 15.7 inches.
Sized at 27.2 x 11.4 x 19.3 inches, the Travelmate M is designed to be used as hold luggage, and the largest solution, the Travelmate L, is sized at 29.5 x 12.2 x 20.5, providing enough room to hold everything you need.
The Travelmate range will be available in 6 different colors, with an outer shell composed from a strong and sturdy ABS & Polycarbonate combination.
With a lithium ion battery that delivers 4 hours autonomous function powering a electric motor, the Travelmate can move at a top speed of 6.75 mph, or roughly 10 km/h, almost running speed.
The brain of the Travelmate is a custom designed ARM processor that utilizes a range of sensors including bluetooth, GPS, digital scale, gyroscopic sensors and more.
Pricing & Expected Shipping Date
The Travelmate can be preordered from the Travelmate Kickstarter campaign, with pricing for the smallest model, the Travelmate S, beginning at $399 USD. Shipping is estimated to occur for the first wave of Travelmate cases in June 2017.
If you’re tired of carrying your own luggage and are looking for the future of suitcase technology, the Travelmate delivers the most advanced fusion of robotic technology and luggage design available.