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by ibgames

EARTHDATE: July 24, 2016

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by Hazed

Putting wheels on luggage was a massive step forward, allowing women to move large suitcases around without needing a strong man to do the heavy lifting.

Now luggage is about to take another leap forward, with the invention of a robot suitcase, called Olive.

Olive has a self-balancing auto-location system that means it stays stable while riding on two wheels, using 3D accelerometers and gyroscopes – much like a Segway.

It has a built-in stereoscopic camera that allows it to build up a visual map of its surroundings, and its manufacturers claim that its skeleton tracker algorithms allow it to distinguish individuals even in crowded environments.

Not only will Olive follow its owner around, it can provide reminders and has a built-in scale to warn about excess weight. What’s more, it can be converted into a Segway-like vehicle so you can actually ride on your luggage. There’s a video of Olive at the source link below.

Olive has been invented by Ikap Robotics, and it won first place in the Service Robotics section of the 2016 Automatica Start-up World Competition last year. The company is currently seeking investment and collaboration to develop Olive further.

This is all very futuristic, but it’s also rife with potential problems: security issues and safety concerns. I hope the manufacturers work these out, though, because frankly it sounds amazing!

Of course, it reminds me of the luggage in Terry Pratchett’s Discworld novels, which as well as following its owner, used to eat anybody or thing that annoyed it. I wonder if that will be a feature of Olive…

Source: http://www.gizmag.com/olive-robot-suitcase/44085/

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