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Hop! suitcase automatically follows its user


October 10, 2012

Hop! promises to free travelers from carrying their luggage

Hop! promises to free travelers from carrying their luggage

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As any frequent flyer knows, hauling around a passport, carry-on luggage and suitcase while navigating through an airport can be a real hassle, and the situation is made worse if the traveler in question has any physical health issues. Madrid-based designer Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez has come up with an ingenious solution to this issue: a smart carry-on suitcase named Hop! which follows the traveler around automatically.

Hop! contains three receivers which communicate with an app running on the traveler’s smartphone, via Bluetooth. The Bluetooth data is processed by a micro-controller which calculates the position of the smartphone it is tasked to follow. The same micro-controller also directs a dual caterpillar track-type system on the underside of the smart-suitcase.

Hop! can be configured to follow a number of other Hop! units in a line, and should the smartphone signal be lost or interrupted somehow, the user will receive an alert, and the suitcase locks itself. In an age of increasingly security-conscious airports, there’s some obvious issues to an automatic hands-off carry-on ambling around an airport, but should the relevant authorities allow it, one can imagine such a device proving indispensable for disabled travelers, and convenient for the rest of us.

The smart luggage is manufactured to meet most airline cabin space requirements, measuring 55 x 40 x 20 cm (roughly 21 x 15 x 8 inches). Further to this, Gonzales states that the internal mechanism of his device doesn’t increase the weight of the case significantly, though we’ve received no hard figures on this.

While Hop! is still in development, Gonzalez tells us that he plans to mature his prototype and complement it with a larger suitcase, with a view to eventually bringing both to market.

The promo video below gives a sense of what using Hop! would be like.

Source: Ideactionary via Ubergizmo

About the Author
Adam Williams Adam scours the globe from his home in North Wales in order to bring the best of innovative architecture and sustainable design to the pages of Gizmag. Most of his spare time is spent dabbling in music, tinkering with old Macintosh computers and trying to keep his even older VW bus on the road. All articles by Adam Williams

I'm thinking that by trying to get this through airport security is probably gonna be the equivalent of flat-out ASKING for a cavity search


Looks about as stable as a peanut butter sandwich on its side.


Phone battery dies, case locks itself immediately before customs checkpoint, two hours lost while explaining wanky technology and asking for a charger as yours is in the bag... I'll carry my stuff - I'd have to on the escalators anyway.

Marcus Carr

I'll just pull my wheeled bag by a cord clipped to my belt.


No matter how the technology improves, it will always add unwanted extra-weight... for what? For increasing risks of suitcase robbery... how long before you realise that your luggage is not following you any more? Or security may even consider it to be an unattended luggage just because something blocked the wheels and you kept on walking...

Besides, unless you add big 4x4 wheels to go up and down stairs, you will still need to lift up your luggage, precisely when you wish you would not. Pulling a luggage on flat surface has never been tiring. This is really gadgety to me...


Great to see one of the fruit's of the brilliant Terry Pratchett imagination finally being created.

See: http://www.flickr.com/photos/lucidragon/131543057/ http://www.terrypratchett.co.uk/


Reminds me of Terry Pratchetts walking chest in his Disc World series. I would want one of these with articulated feet.

Steve Lane

Hilarious.... what happen if you climb stair... or someone snatch it.....

Mohd Mat Desa

robotic devices are an obvious security problem, the suitcase must never be farther then 2 mr from its owner, it may not make independent decisions such as locking itself, that must be controled by the owner. As a disabled traveler myself ,I love this idea.


Frequent flyers everywhere are snickering.

Bruce H. Anderson

Looks easy to steal. Also, you'd have to keep looking behind you to make sure no one knocked it over.


I'd rather have a Big Dog.

Jon A.

Old, old idea. 25 years ago (or more) you could get a motorized cart for your golf bag that would follow you on the course.


If somebody steals it, it might start an alarm. Of course, that will only work with a bag that is reasonably stable (this is not) and polished that it will not be able to go around people, animals and structures of different kinds. Nevertheless, I like the idea))

Renārs Grebežs

Looks like Hop is going to be a flop. Wait until it falls over. Then what. How about taking no luggage with you. There's a simple idea.

Jonathan Fox

The Three Laws of Robotic Luggage

A robot suitcase may not harm its contents or, through inaction, allow its contents to come to harm. A robot suitcase must obey the orders given to it by TSA agents, except where such orders would conflict with the First Law. A robot suitcase must protect its own existence as long as such protection does not conflict with the First or Second Laws. Gregg Eshelman

It doesn't look stable when it starts to move and tend to fall. So, which button to press if it topples ?


Somehow I think this would be better marketed at busy salespeople who need to carry a lot. The added weight and metal might not be the best thing for airlines that nickle and dime you to no end because your luggage is over weight.

Nicolas Zart

Scientific experiments are first hypothesized with ideal environment. Just like ideal fluid or gas. Then variables are worked out and studied. Now if we look ideally and all the kinks are removed, this is a very handy and excellent idea. All issues can literally be solved today using current technology, again ideally having the latest cutting edge materials, parts. So this is a great idea.

Dawar Saify

Been waiting for someone to develop this for years. I was hoping it would be on the market before my disability got to a stage where I couldn't even pull luggage, but I'm more or less there and the suitcase isn't yet :-( Really looking forward to this project developing and helping more people live independent lives. It will be very hard to get through all security considerations, but where there's a will, there's a way. Much more difficult things have been solved, so I don't understand the level of contempt from some people commenting here. I wish him the best and look forward to an update.


A bunch of Nay Sayers. Of course there are failure points, but most are present in current suitcases. If it could levitate it would be perfect.

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