Segway's new Puppy 1 suitcase follows you like, well, a puppy!

By Businessweek, April 12 2018

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.

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 263

At 20” high that’s 51cm, so it’s likely to be cabin-sized. The issue will be its weight. With a motor that moves it up to 16kph and a battery that lasts for 48kms, the first question is its weight. A recent competitor’s ride-on cabin bag weighed 7kg. That might be okay for US airlines and BA passengers, but not for most other travellers. But most importantly, my cabin bag has most of my valuables, and I’m not about to trust my cabin bag to wander along behind me in any sort of crowd.

lkennedy

lkennedy

16 Dec 2011

Total posts 43

I wouldn't worry. Given the battery, it won't be allowed as carry on anyway.

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 263

In this case (oops!), the battery is removable so it’ll be permitted as carry-on.

lkennedy

lkennedy

16 Dec 2011

Total posts 43

So you check in the battery? I'm always told I can't take spare batteries for my laptop on board. Don't see why this would be different.

Phil Young

Phil Young

Qantas

22 Oct 2012

Total posts 263

You can take spare laptop batteries in your cabin luggage provided their mAh rating is below that set by the airline.

ivanb52

ivanb52

Qantas - Qantas Frequent Flyer

27 Aug 2014

Total posts 24

I understood spare batteries must not be in checked luggage, but in carry on. Recently agents have asked me to confirm no batteries in checked bag.

wanderingvan

wanderingvan

01 Feb 2018

Total posts 34

"A 20 inch high, 50 pound capacity" May we move to the metric world please for us Aussie and 90% of the world population. Is it too hard for a cut and paste article to be edited?

It would be cool that the suitcase be in R2D2 shape with the beeping to match.

mirantz

mirantz

Virgin Australia - Velocity Rewards

20 Jun 2015

Total posts 2

This seems to me to be a competitor of Travelmate Robotic's smart/robotic luggage (www.travelmaterobotics.com), which I've backed on Indiegogo, but have been delayed for a long time now - hopefully they'll ship it to me later this month as they've promised.

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