The suitcase, called Hop, is self-driving and allows travellers to walk unburdened by the weight of their bags.
The prototype connects to a Bluetooth signal from its owner’s phone and rolls after it, a short but constant distance behind. If the signal is lost – a real possibilty should the traveller have to run for a flight – the suitcase locks to make itself secure.
It then makes the phone vibrate, alerting the owner to the fact it has stopped. The bags can be programmed to follow each other in a line and there are hopes that they could one day replace the need for conveyor belts and luggage carts in airports.
Designed by Rodrigo Garcia Gonzalez, the case is still being improved, but has been entered for the James Dyson Award, an international student design prize to be announced later this month.
Travellers can also buy luggage that carries them along with their belongings. The suitcase scooter ( micro-scooters.co.uk ) makes the long walk to the boarding gate a thing of the past.
Developed by Micro and Samsonite, it entails a solid bag attached to the front of the sort of pavement scooter currently popular with children and the odd commuter. It costs £250, has a pocket for a lap-top and neatly folds away, so is permitted as hand luggage.