Travemate – The First Robot Suitcase

For anyone who hates carrying heavy suitcases, here is happy news. You can soon purchase Travelmate, a smart suitcase from Travelmate Robotics. Wondering what’s new? Unlike other suitcases, you don’t have to grab the handle of Travelmate and drag it along. This GPS-enabled and LED-lit suitcase can follow you wherever you want to go, and stays nearly 3 to 5 feet behind you. Travelmate can be linked to your smartphone to record the location. This autonomous robot companion will follow you based on your location, thus making travelling much easier. In short, you get a sci-fi travel buddy, almost equivalent to having a trustable person who can follow you and carry all your stuff. Travelmate is the brainchild of a team of American robotics specialists from SMP Robotics.

Called “the first true fully autonomous suitcase,” that can loyally trundle after its owner automatically, Travelmate can move both vertically and horizontally, and weave through the crowd effortlessly. If attached to non-robotic cases, Travelmate will carry them along with it. This innovative travel companion encompasses an optional camera which helps record your journey or patrol your home when you are away.

Travelmate can easily match your speed, up to 6.75 miles per hour. The battery charge lasts for 4 hours if the suitcase is used in fully autonomous mode, or 100 if used in standby or regular suitcase mode. No matter what the kind of usage is, the LED lights on the suitcase will indicate the battery level. The lights can be turned off whenever required. A TSA-compliant autonomous robot companion, Travelmate has fingerprint-enabled lock system to ensure unmatched security. You can open it manually as well. The removable GPS chip helps keep track of Travelmate. The chip can be attached to any other bag that you wish to track. Two extra chips will be provided with all models.

In addition to a smart lock and a location tracker, Travelmate contains dual USB charging ports too.

Irrespective of all advantages available, many are apprehensive of the usage of travel mate, as it might cause security risks and chaos in busy airports. But the company has ensured the best security possible. If someone intents to steal the case, it will soon sense the danger, lock its wheels, and sound an alarm.

Travelmate comes in three sizes, costing $399, $495 and $595. It’s available for pre-order on the company website.

Self-making bed – Best laziest invention ever?

For those who are too lazy to make their beds, OHEA “Smart Bed” is the one-size-fits-all solution that can ease the tedium. That said, many have dubbed it as the laziest invention of all time.

This is how the Smart Bed works. You get out of your bed and leave it unmade. If the automatic mode is turned on, OHEA Smart Bed can make itself in the morning, in about three seconds after you gets out of the bed. The panel on both sides of the bed swings open, and the mechanical arms emerge from each side. A set of smooth rollers are attached to these mechanical arms. The rollers grab each side of your blanket, before slowly moving from the foot to the head of your bed, tucking it neatly. At the same time, the pillows rise on another panel to make space for the moving arms.

The pillows are straightened using chords attached on each side of the bed. As the arms completely straighten out the blanket, they drop back into the bed’s housing, while the pillows are dropped into its positions appropriately. The side panels get closed and the bed is ready for you take a nap. The entire process takes nearly 50 seconds from start to finish. If you prefer manual mode over automatic mode, you can choose that as well.

OHEA Smart Bed doesn’t start functioning accidently or when a person is sleeping. It cannot be manually triggered to bed-making mode when anyone is on the mattress. It means, OHEA Smart Bed might have a weights sensor to prevent the bed-making mode from turning on suddenly.

Wondering how close it is to perfection in bed making? Not really, and here is the downside – you have to be a tidy sleeper, and cannot use your own sheets, duvet covers, and pillows. Moreover. OHEA Smart Bed doesn’t accommodate a second top sheet in between the main blanket and the bottom sheet.

Still, for those who hate making their beds, OHEA Smart Bed is truly a blessing.

What to do if it breaks?

Here is what the website states: “You would simply have to make the bed manually until a technician resolved the issue.”

Your laundry folding friend

Folding your clothes into organized piles is often laborious, time-consuming, and frustrating. But here comes a machine that can fold your clothes into neat piles in seconds. It’s about two third the size of your washer or dryer, weighs about 60 pounds, and can easily fit into most laundry rooms.

Developed by a San Francisco start-up, Foldimate can start folding clothes as soon as they come out of your washing machine. The commercial version of this laundry-folding machine will be available later this year. Foldimate is Wi-Fi enabled and is expected to cost around $800. Call it a robot or an appliance, Foldimate is an innovative and intriguing discovery.

To get started, you can clip your clothes onto the machine’s horizontal rack and press a button to indicate the cloth type. Foldimate will soon determine the thickness, size, and sleeve length of your clothes, and later adjusts its settings accordingly. You can opt for perfuming and sanitizing if needed. Once it completes folding the entire clothes on the rack, Foldimate soon spits out the folded clothes for you to remove.

According to the makers, Foldimate can fold your laundry perfectly and steam out creases successfully in less than a minute. It can also infuse fragrances into clean and dry clothing. This is possible for towels, shirts, and trousers. The machine takes almost 10 second to fold each item. It takes 20 to 30 seconds for de-wrinkling. Based on thickness of each fabric, Foldimate takes nearly 10 to 30 items per load. In short, you get a trustable and never-complaining friend to fold all the laundry fold you.

Will it be able to solve all your cloth folding woes? No. It won’t be able to automatically fold too small or too large items, or “replace ironing of dress shirts”. This means you will have fold underwear, bed sheets, and socks in the old -fashioned way.

Foldimate is not the only automated folding machine that experts are working on. A Japanese startup has built a similar machine called Laundroid. Laundroid is as big as your refrigerator and costs nearly $2700 USD. In short, it’s both expensive and difficult to handle.

So Foldimate is an affordable and user-friendly choice? Would you love to buy it?

P.S. – No matter what your problem is, someone is readying a solution to cater to your needs. In other words, you can get a solution for something as trivial as folding laundry.

The salad-making robot

When it comes to making salads, the kind of ingredients and toppings used are very important. Or else, a healthy meal might have more calories than a fattening hamburger. What if you can easily measure the amount of calories in the each salad that you choose to have? Does it sound near-to-impossible? Not anymore! A California-based company has developed a food robot that dispenses the quantities of ingredients, and offers details on the precise amount of calories used in each salad. It’s named Sally. In about 60 seconds, the robot can make more than 1000 different types of ready-to-eat salads. Isn’t that awesome? The green-and-brown robot is the brain child of Chowbotics Inc., one among the major companies in the potential million dollar market of food robots.

Why Sally? It’s possibly the “next generation of salad restaurant”, and can make tasty salads faster than humans. Adding more advantage is the feature that helps count the calories in each salad. Moreover, the level of hygiene is matchless when a machine prepares a salad, rather than getting it done by multiple people.

Does that mean the robot doesn’t need any human help? Absolutely not! Here is the human touch in Sally – The food robot doesn’t do all the chores right from start to finish. A human has to slice and fill up the ingredients into the canisters. The ingredients are stored in refrigerated compartments. You can simply place a bowl in the salad dispensing area, and later customize the order from the given menu. Based on calorie count, you can add or remove toppings as required. Once the selection is done, Sally will soon start preparing the salad.

The salad robot comes in compact size, weighs close to 350 pounds, and hardly occupies the same amount of space as that of a small dorm room refrigerator. It uses 21 different ingredients such as kale, romaine, Parmesan, and cherry tomatoes to make appetizing salads in less than a minute, while you can watch the entire process. In its current avatar, Sally is ideal for business settings and not for home kitchens. But after going “on a diet” quite soon, home users too might get a concise version of this remarkable salad making robot.

Will Sally improve its culinary skills? Will it be able to cook some scrumptious ethnic foodstuffs? May be in its next incarnation, if all goes well!

Flippy – The burger-flipping robot

Robots have reached the world of fast-food as well, thanks to Miso Robotics, an offshoot of CaliBurger, a West Coast burger chain. They have made a burger-flipping robot named Flippy. Why Flippy? Be it working around grill and fryer or doing the preparation works like chopping onions, food service robots can do the chores way more quickly and perfectly than humans.

What makes Flippy standout? As we all know, flipping burgers is not an easy job. There are many common hazards associated with the job, such as slips, trips, cuts, and burns. With increasing demand for burgers, humans need a reliable helping hand to cook more burgers quickly, and serve the increasing number of burger lovers across the world in a time bound manner. This is where Flippy enters. The robotic kitchen assistant works wonders when it comes to burger-making. It can detect, flip, and grill tasty burger patties.

Flippy looks like a small wheeled cart with a six-axis robotic arm. The robot can be installed either in front of or next to any grill or fryer. It uses thermal and 3D sensors as well as advanced cameras to get clear understanding about the environment around. Flippy leverages artificial intelligence technologies to solve some of the biggest pain points that burger chefs often deal with. A.I. enables Flippy to be trainable and adaptable. It might soon learn and cook new foods based on seasonal menu changes.

Fast, safe, and makes no mistakes – Flippy outsmarts humans with these three advantages. It can grab unwrapped burger patties, place them on hot grills, keep track of temperature and cooking time, and alert cooks when to add toppings or cheese. However, Flippy can just plate burger and cannot wrap them or add finishing touches.

Wondering if several burger chefs are going to lose their jobs with the arrival of Flippy? No, they won’t. Flippy cannot fully displace humans. Though it can handle many repetitive tasks simultaneously and perfectly, it cannot completely replace human touch. That said, chefs of some top restaurants might soon find this co-worker in their kitchens.