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New Self-Driving Suitcase Can Follow You Around Airport

Schlepping through the airport with your suitcase may soon be a thing of the past. ForwardX, a self-driving robotics company, has just introduced Ovis, smart luggage designed to follow passengers around. Featuring computer vision technology, Ovis is the first vision-powered carry-on in the world.

The carbon fiber suitcase, which is fitted with sensors that enable the luggage to follow travelers at a speed of 7 miles per hour, also has route projection technology that allows it to identify its path. Ovis' technology is similar to that used in Cowarobot, a self-driving carry-on that follows passengers wearing a connected bracelet. Ovis, however, requires no bracelet.

“[This is] the first time a suitcase has been implanted with a pair of eyes and brain,” said Nicolas Chee, CEO of FowardX Robotics. Adding that his team has “empowered [Ovis] with the intelligence and cognition to tackle the complex problem of not just following, but predicting your path, while avoiding obstacles.”

Via Twitter

Ovis also features an app that can check the weight of your suitcase, a GPS that allows users to locate the luggage if it is lost, and a smart alarm that warns owners if Ovis has fallen behind.

According to ForwardX, “The embedded ultrasonic sensor enables Ovis to accurately sense the environment, calculate the distance, and estimate the direction from the obstacles, with a deviation precision of ±1 cm. A steadier follow is now achievable even when you walk by other pedestrians, trollies or even pillars.”

In light of the recent crackdown on smart luggage by airlines, Ovis comes with a TSA-approved digital lock that can be automatically unlocked as travelers approach the security check, and a removable battery that doubles as a phone charging dock.

Via Twitter

“We’re excited to be making Ovis available to busy travelers searching for a hands-free and stylish travel companion that can makes traveling a breeze,” Chee said.

The polypropylene and carbon fiber suitcase weighs under 10 pounds and is waterproof with a rating of IP56. Ovis says the luggage is equipped with sufficient power to make two round-trips. The suitcase can also be switched to manual mode and carried. ForwardX, which has recently received $10 million in funding, is now on sale on Indiegogo for $319.

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