Wednesday, January 10, 2018

Oh, patents! CES 2018 - Self-driving suitcase

Copyright © Françoise Herrmann

Whoa. at CES 2018! 

How about a brand new carry-on suitcase prototype, designed by a company called ForwardX Robotics to follow you autonomously at the airport, giving you a hands-free experience? 

A self-driving suitcase with a max speed of 7 miles per hour, and enough smart electronics, together with sensors, to recognize you, and its surroundings, in view of avoiding collisions with obstacles; to determine its own position, relative to the owner, via GPS and NFC (Near Fieild Communication) connection; and to detect ground topography.

This invention was disclosed just at the end 2017, on December 28, in the PCT patent application WO2017219751, titled Mobile suitcase having automatic following and obstacle avoidance functions, and using method therefor. 

The hyperlinked abstract is included below together with an image of the suitcase prototype.

A mobile suitcase having automatic following and obstacle avoidance functions, and a using method therefor. The mobile suitcase comprises a mobile platform module, an environment perception module, a data fusion positioning module, and a following and obstacle avoidance processing module. The following and obstacle avoidance processing module plans a path for the mobile suitcase following a pedestrian according to information about a distance between the mobile suitcase and an obstacle in a surrounding environment, roughness information of the ground and positioning information, so as to implement obstacle avoidance and automatic following of the mobile platform module. The mobile suitcase and the using method therefor can be applicable to a complex environment, and the mobile suitcase can safely and reliably avoid an obstacle and follow an owner, thereby bringing great convenience to the travel of the pedestrian. [Abstract WO2017219751]

ForwardX Robotics

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