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Tuesday, 24 June 2008 02:50

The suitcase that thinks it's a Segway

A UK company has developed the world's first powered luggage, and it seems to operate in a similar fashion to the Segway personal transporter.

UK-based Live Luggage says it has spent five years designing and developing its power assisted luggage. It claims that its "amazing design uses revolutionary pancake/flat wheel technology and includes an Anti-Gravity handle that distributes a major part of the total weight over the powered wheels increasing efficiency and making it much more easily transportable than standard luggage."

An intelligent torque control system powers the wheels when the handle is tilted and pressure is applied on the handle, triggering force sensors at the base. The suitcase is designed to power up only when help is required and only on slopes of 15 percent to 35 percent, so that if you accidentally drop the case or let go, it won't run away from you!

You might ask why you really need power to help you haul you baggage through the airport. The answer, according to Live Luggage is is "getting to and from departure lounges, the long and steep gradients, steps, kerbs, taxi and train steps."

Useful as the device may be, it is clearly not for economy class airline passengers: an empty suitcase weighs 10.6kg, which according to Live Luggage is just 3kg more than the standard hard luggage of similar capacity/ volume. Be that as it may, there's half your airline baggage allowance gone before you have even packed a toothbrush!

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