Urban Transport

Olive robotic suitcase brings new meaning to carry on luggage

Olive robotic suitcase brings ...
Olive is an intelligent suitcase that can be ridden like a Segway
Olive is an intelligent suitcase that can be ridden like a Segway
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Olive is an intelligent suitcase that can be ridden like a Segway
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Olive is an intelligent suitcase that can be ridden like a Segway
Olive uses skeleton tracking to follow its owner
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Olive uses skeleton tracking to follow its owner
Sideview sketch of Olive
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Sideview sketch of Olive
Olive converts into an electric scooter
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Olive converts into an electric scooter
Olive has a 3D scanner
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Olive has a 3D scanner
Olive has auto-locomotion and is self-b alancing
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Olive has auto-locomotion and is self-b alancing

Air travel is already stressful enough without having to trek long distances through what are essentially giant coach stations while dragging a bag on wheels behind you. There have been a number of attempts to relieve this situation in recent years with foldable scooters and bags that can follow its owner's smartphone, but Olive ups the ante by combining the two with full-on robotics.

Olive is the brainchild of Iran-based Ikap Robotics, and although it may look like a standard piece of luggage, it has a Segway-like, self-balancing auto-locomotion system that maintains stability while riding on two wheels by using 3D accelerometers and gyroscopes. With an in-built stereoscopic camera, it can build up a visual map of its surroundings and follow its owner using skeleton tracker algorithms that is claimed to allow Olive to distinguish individuals even in crowded environments.

Olive uses skeleton tracking to follow its owner
Olive uses skeleton tracking to follow its owner

Billed as the world's first intelligent suitcase, Olive can provide reminders, tell its owner to hurry if time is short, and has a built-in scale to warn about excess weight. If the gate is a bit far, a pair of foot rests fold out and Olive becomes a two-wheel balancing Segway-like vehicles that can carry its owner at a walking pace to the destination. Once there, the robot's battery can charge portable devices.

According to Ikap, Olive connects with its owner's smartphone or other devices using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth via an app that allows for full control. The app can locate the bag wherever it is using GPS and 3G/4G technology, and it has an automatic lock/unlock mechanism in case it's left unattended as well as provide alarms if it's disturbed. The lock also works with NFC technology, so keys are redundant.

Ikap Robotics took out first place in the Service Robotics section of the 2016 Automatica Start-up World Competition held in Munich last month and the company says it is currently seeking investment and collaboration to further develop and manufacture Olive. We tried to contact the makers regarding the current state of development of Olive, its estimated price and potential availability, and will update this story if we hear back.

The video below shows Olive strutting its stuff.

Source: Ikap Robotics

7 comments
mhpr262
A neat concept - if the airline will transport your suitcase, because most airlines have a ban on lithium batteries above a certain Wh number. And if they do accept it, it will still end up in Peking ... on your flight from Miami to Houston.
mariposaman
There are more restriction on what batteries are allowed on airplanes, this might not be allowed.
Eric the Red
OMG, it is that hard to walk quickly in an airport!
PlanetPapi
Segway mini + Carry on Bag = Olive. It's bound to happen, naturally. If that skeleton tracking works reliably it may have other applications, other than just airport related. Airlines may not allow it as other commenters said. Added weight reduces actual space inside. The video cleverly didn't show how it works in a real life airport situations where there are hundreds people dresses and walks like you, crisscross. Do you really trust your fancy tech follow you? Practically all bags come with 4 wheels nowadays and it's hardly an effort to drag them. You don't even drag them anymore you just glide them. So this tech seems overkill for just that purpose.
unklmurray
I want to answer ''Eric the Reds''' question.....YES it is hard to walk quickly in the airport or anywhere [for me] when you buy your ticket at the United Airlines,ticket counter @ the airport in Denver,Colorado,It is 3/4 miles to the boarding terminal,and I'm told it is twice that @ the Dallas/Fortworth Airport in Texas,I use a mobility scooter but this suitcase that will follow me around would be very welcome!!.........LOL :-)
Michael Crumpton
They kind of glossed over the scooter aspect of the bag, which seems to me the most useful part. The follow along feature is interesting, but who can't handle 1 small carry on bag. If they showed him with 4 bags chasing him through the airport it would make more sense.
JoeAugusto
I'd also like to answer Eric. For someone with an incomplete spinal cord injury it takes me forever to walk through an airport and I'd love to have some help keeping up with the masses. Whether or not this is the answer, remains to be seen, but it may be promising.