hopWhen you travel, lugging your luggage behind you can become of the your biggest headaches (and body aches if you pack too much!). Well, what if the lugging went away? That’s the plan with the Hop suitcase (under development).

You can see a video of the prototype below. Pretty cool, right?

Here’s how it works: the suitcase receives a signal from your cell phone and follows about two and a half feet behind you. It has three receivers that can receive, identify and triangulate different signals coming from your cell phone. Based on those signals, a microcontroller operates a caterpillar system of compressed air to make it move while also calculating the phone’s distance from the suitcase.

If the suitcase loses the phone signal it locks itself and the phone will vibrate.  They can also be programmed to follow one another.

The inventor of the prototype, Rodrigo Garcia, made it to the final of an international contest, but it will still be a while before the suitcase goes on sale.

Watching the video, I’m hoping there’s a speed dial that controls how fast the suitcase will go.  When I’m typically walking through an airport I’m moving fast and I don’t think the suitcase could keep up with me at the rate it travels currently.  That said, it’s still a pretty neat concept.