Tired of pulling and pushing your luggage around? Segway is behind the development of a new 'self-driving' suitcase called the Puppy 1 which will faithfully follow you at speeds up to 10mph (16kph).
A 20 inch high, 50 pound capacity, remote-controlled suitcase, the Puppy 1 uses sensors to balance itself on two wheels and follow its owner for about 30 miles (48km) on a single charge of its removable lithium-ion battery.
The plastic hard-shell suitcase weighs just a few pounds when empty.
Inventor Clark Wu, a 28-year old product manager at Mi Ecosystem – a division of Chinese luggage maker Shanghai Runmi Technology – began working on the Puppy 1 in 2016 after specializing in user-interface design at Runmi. Much of the balancing technology comes from partner Segway.
Unlike smart luggage that needs four or six wheels to stay balanced, the Puppy 1’s two wheels help it accelerate quickly to keep up with its owner.
The suitcase can be summoned via remote control or smartphone from about 60 feet (18 metres). With its battery removed, it doubles as a carry-on approved by the Federal Aviation Administration.
This decidedly high-tech piece of luggage also includes a fingerprint-scanning lock, as well as exterior lights that can be toggled to make it more visible.
A flexible screen flashes crying or alarm emojis to tell its owner the battery is low – or to alert passersby if it’s being stolen.
The Puppy 1 is expected to go on sale in November 2018 for around US$500.
Meanwhile, Wu says he’s now working on a larger suitcase and a backpack that can charge electronics with solar power.