March 24, 2012, 7:30 AM — The last thing you want to do after a long, tiring journey is to drag your heavy luggage around until you get to your destination. If only luggage bags and suitcases could sprout feet and walk themselves. Well, thanks to modder Ben Heck, they now can!
Ben, alongside design engineer Jesse Robinson, went about creating a luggage robot that's capable of following you around so you don't have to pull it. The tall luggage robot, nicknamed Doug, has two main wheels but and a stabilizer to keep it from tipping over, so the finished result looks a little like R2-D2.
Doug uses ping sensors to track and follow you. The sensor on your person (hooked up to your belt) will send a "ping" signal to the sensor on the luggage bot to determine how far away it is from you, and how the Doug should respond. Once paired with you, the robot will know when to follow a you and when to stop. Of course, you can disable the sensors as needed, and the bot comes with a handle so you can carry it onto your flight or bus.
Doug can fit into an overhead compartment on a plane, so it might just make the perfect carry on bag. The downside? It can only move at a steady 2mph, so it's best suited to those who can't walk particularly fast or just want to take their time.
While a little slow, this is a great project for first-time autonomous robot modders. Check out the video below to find out more about the sensors and overall project: