Robotic Suitcase Follows You Around

I have something that follows me around all the time: my dog Jasper. His cargo-carrying capability is limited, though, and he requires occasional treats. Not so this robotic suitcase. All it needs, the designers claim, is an occasional charge and a Bluetooth device to follow.

Designed by NUA Robotics, this suitcase is equipped with powered wheels and a certain amount of smarts: enough to figure out the direction of a Bluetooth signal such as your cell phone and follow it. This is also accompanied by proximity sensors so it doesn’t bump into you or other people. When the built-in battery runs out, just pop put the handle and pull it yourself, and the regenerative motors will recharge the battery. There’s no indication on price, battery life or how much space is left to actually carry stuff yet, but the designers claim it could be out within the year. As someone who uses a walking stick, this sounds like a great idea. And if they can work out how to get it to walk the dog for me, that would be even better.

Now, who will be the first to build a clone of this in their basement? Bonus points if it’s a two-wheeled self-balancer.

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Train set built in a suitcase does more than you’d think

automated-suitcase-train-set

[Mario] can take his train set on the road with him because he build the thing inside of a suitcase. That in itself is pretty neat, but he pulled off more than just laying down a ring of track and surrounding it with realistic scenery. This train set is automated.

The suitcase itself looks a bit funny and that’s because it started as a portable phonograph. Removing the turntable and it’s requisite parts made plenty of room for the N-scale railroad (that’s really small stuff!). An Arduino with a motor shield drives the train around the loop. A reed sensor below a section of track provides feedback on where the locomotive is in the circuit. When it reaches that point the train stops and a bridge is lowered over the track for some invisible traffic to cross. There is even some audio flair which can be heard in the video after the break. It includes the whistle of the train and the ding of that bell mounted on the top half of the case.

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A pair of briefcase boombox builds

Here are two different briefcase speaker projects. [Dale] built the offering on the right back in high school and the upgraded version 2.0 more recently. He was inspired to send in a tip for the projects after seeing yesterday’s suitcase full of tunes.

The first version uses a pair of speakers pulled out of a car at the junkyard. They’re mounted on some particle board which beefs up the side of the plastic briefcase. The amplifier that drives it is mounted inside the case along with a battery to power the system. [Dale] included a crude storage bracket for the input cable and since the amp can drive four speakers there are connectors on the outside for two more.

Version two has quite a bit more polish. He doesn’t show that one off quite as much, but you can see there is a LED strip on the case that serves as a VU meter, as well as a numeric display which might be battery voltage? He mentions that this blows away any commercially available systems his coworkers have brought to the job site.

Video of both rigs can be found after the break.

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A suitcase full of tunes

Take the party with you by building your own boomcase. It’s an amplifier and set of speakers built into luggage. It uses an audio jack to connect to your favorite music player, and with a bit of ¬†added protection — like grills for those speakers — it could still be gently used to transport your wardrobe.

A 1960’s suitcase was mutilated for this build. [Jay] must have already had it on hand because combined with some used parts he claims to have only spent $50 total. After trying out a few different speaker orientations on a piece of cardboard he covered the outside of the case in blue painter’s tape and started cutting holes. The amp he chose has a nice face plate which happens to ¬†fit nicely on the top side of the case. For now he’s powering it with a 10,000 mAh (ie: 10 Ah) portable device recharging battery. But as you can hear in the demo after the break this seems to have no problem supplying the system with enough power.

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