Gadgets

Ben Heck Creates “Doug”, a R2-D2 Look-alike Robotic Luggage

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Console modder Ben Heck recently created a robotic luggage that can follow you while carrying your luggage. Dubbed as “Doug,” the robot was created with the help of design engineer Jesse Robinson.

Doug: What You Need to Know

Doug has two main wheels and one stabilizer that keep it from tipping over; thus, it looks like a square and wooden version of R2-D2. It uses a sensor, which is attached to your belt, to determine whether it should follow you. It will follow you up to 20 feet away and will stop within a foot’s distance. You can disable the sensors if needed and when you pick it off the ground. It also comes with a handle that allows you to carry your luggage.

Because of its small size, Doug can fit into an overhead compartment on a plane. However, it moves at a steady 2mph, so it’s only best for travelers who can’t walk fast.

Luggage Handling, the Future of Robotics

Although Ben Heck’s newly constructed Doug can be considered as the first mobile robotic luggage, luggage handling is not a new thing in the robotics industry. In fact, Yotel New York unveiled its one-armed robotic luggage handler in May of last year—the Yobot. It was made in line with Yotel’s aim to construct small and cozy but futuristic hotels.

During Yotel New Yorks’ pre-opening event last May 2011, its high-tech features was showcased to public, and one of them is Yobot. A direct descendant of the robots working in automobile plant, it grabs, lifts and stores baskets that contain luggage, even if you don’t give a tip.

Although this type of robot is typically found in industrial settings as material handling or spot welding, Yobot moves smoothly in a hotel setting. Guests who want to store their luggage will have to turn it on using their username and PIN. Then they will have to place their bags on a locker insert bin that’s found at the fork-like attachment found at the end of the robot’s arm. Yobot will then insert the bin into one of its 117 dedicated locker slots, and a guest will be issued with a bar code receipt for retrieval purposes.

Robotics has always been a great way to ease people’s task, and it seems that the technology is moving closer to the general public. If you want to learn more about Doug and how it was made, you can check out Ben Heck’s video at Element 14.

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