Here boy! This robot suitcase will follow you around like a faithful dog

Who doesn’t love the thought of a faithful old dog walking by their side? It’s one of life’s joys, certainly, but let’s face it, dogs aren’t very good at hauling your stuff around. Meet the Cowarobot R1, an incredible robotic suitcase that follows you around, will come when it’s called, and has considerably more storage space than the average dog.

The R1 has other distinct advantages over man’s best friend. Its autonomous follow mode means it won’t get distracted by an interesting smell, it’ll find its way back to you thanks to GPS if it gets lost, and there’s a battery pack that not only powers it for more than 12 hours, but will top up your other gadgets when needed. Try doing that with Fido. It will follow by your side, staying in your peripheral vision, and avoids any obstacles without you needing to do anything.

Why would you want such a thing, outside of showing off? Who hasn’t struggled with dragging a case through an airport, while also pulling up flight times or a boarding pass on their phone, holding on to a child’s hand, or juggling duty free products? The R1 can look after itself, so you can use both hands to look after everything else.

It’s inside the handle where the R1’s smarts are hidden, including a depth sensor, a sonar, and a sensor for detecting steep drops, so it won’t roll its way onto a set of stairs. If you’d rather take control, then grab the handle and switch to manual mode. Should the R1 get a bit lost, and it’s out of your line of sight, then a tap of your connected wristband will help it navigate back. The wristband also activates the case’s smart lock, and will vibrate if you leave the R1 behind.

Made from aluminum and polycarbonate, it weighs just under 5kg, and has a 33 litre capacity, while the app is available for iOS and Android. Everything is controlled and monitored by the app, which provides the case’s location using GPS, can unlock or lock it, gives battery life information, and its current status. Measuring 20-inches, the Cowarobot R1 has plenty of storage space, with all the electronics taking up only 4 percent of the overall volume. We like the handy secondary compartment on the front, where your phone, laptop, and other gadgets can be stored for easy removal when going through airport security. The case’s battery is also removable, so it won’t set off each and every alarm it passes through.

How much is an R1 going to cost you? The campaign is well underway on Indiegogo now, where the $430 early bird option has nearly sold out, leaving buyers with either a $450 or $500 option. The $100,000 campaign goal has already been exceeded, and deliveries are expected to take place in October and November this year.

Emerging Tech

Awesome Tech You Can’t Buy Yet: Grow veggies indoors and shower more efficiently

Check out our roundup of the best new crowdfunding projects and product announcements that hit the web this week. You may not be able to buy this stuff yet, but it sure is fun to gawk!
Product Review

Samsung's Galaxy S10 phones are its most refined yet. Be prepared to pay up

Samsung has unveiled its lineup for its most popular smartphones, and it includes the Galaxy S10 and S10 Plus. The two flagship phones boast hole-punch cameras, fingerprint sensors embedded in the display, and beefier batteries.
Mobile

Barbie’s Corvette ain’t got nothing on Sphero’s fully programmable robot car

Sphero is known for devices like the Sphero Bolt and BB-8 Star Wars toy, but now the company is back with another addition to its lineup -- the Sphero RVR. The RVR is a fully programmable robot car that can be expanding with different…
Deals

Here are 20 portable tech gadgets you’ll want to use every day

If you're looking for portable tech to keep you charged up while on the go (or for some great small gift ideas), we've rounded up 20 must-have gadgets. You'll find everything from a mini gaming controller to a folding Bluetooth keyboard.
Emerging Tech

Israel will launch world’s first privately funded moon mission tomorrow

This week will see the world's first privately funded lunar mission launch. Israel's first mission to the moon will be launched aboard SpaceX's Falcon 9 rocket on Thursday, February 21.
Emerging Tech

FDA warns about the dangers of anti-aging blood transfusions

It turns out injecting old people with blood from healthy youngsters may not be the answer to health rejuvenation. That’s according to the FDA, which says such claims are dangerous junk science.
Emerging Tech

Bees can do arithmetic, setting the scientific community abuzz

A new study has found something remarkable: Bees can do basic arithmetic. Researchers showed that bees could use colors as representations for numbers and then use those colors for addition and subtraction.
Emerging Tech

DeepSqueak is a machine learning A.I. that reveals what rats are chatting about

Want to know what rats are squeaking about? You'd better check out DeepSqueak, the new deep learning artificial intelligence developed by researchers at the University of Washington.
Health & Fitness

Immune cell discovery takes us one step closer to a universal flu vaccine

A group of international researchers have made a discovery which could take us one step closer to the universal, one-shot flu vaccine that people around the world have been dreaming of.
Photography

NASA celebrates Earth’s incredible natural beauty with free photo book

NASA has published a fabulous new book featuring stunning imagery captured by its satellites over the years. A hardback version is available for $53, though it can also be downloaded to ebook readers for free, and enjoyed online.
Deals

This new all-in-one flashlight is a power bank, lighter, and screwdriver

The Pyyros modular flashlight can perform numerous field tasks, from hammering to starting fires. If you back it on Kickstarter now, you can score some savings on this innovative flashlight and multi-tool, but act fast: This early-bird…
Movies & TV

Hilarious new Kickstarter aims to fix Scorcese’s last scene in The Departed

A fan of The Departed and apparent hater of rat-as-symbolism imagery has launched a Kickstarter campaign to digitally erase the rodent from the end of Martin Scorsese’s 2006 movie.
Emerging Tech

Baristas beware, Bbox cafe uses robots to brew your morning coffee

Want your morning coffee and pastry prepared by robot? Bbox, a new coffee shop in downtown Berkeley, California, lets customers place their order by app and then uses automation to take care of the rest.
Emerging Tech

This ridiculous new flamethrower makes Elon Musk’s look like a cigarette lighter

The XL18 Flamethrower is a flame-shooting beast on steroids, capable of firing off bursts of flame more than 110 feet in length. The best part? You can order it over the internet today.