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.