Kinetic, Solar-Charing Suitcase

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Pluggage is a prototype for a carry-on suitcase featuring a built-in battery/inverter and solar panel. Thus, it charges both as it rolls and picks up direct sunlight.

The bag was created by ITP student Ohad Folman, who spent 3 months tricking out a Burton Wheelie Flight Deck rolling suitcase with a Duracell PowerSource Mobile 100 external battery pack, a stepper motor, multimeter to display battery life, and a Burton SolarRolls panel capable of generating 4.5 watts.

The battery, says, Ohad, will charge within ~2 hours of walk time assuming an average walking speed between 2-5 kilometers/hour. A full charge should power a laptop for about 1.5 hours, depending on the make/model.

Unfortunately, Ohad has had a heck of a time getting manufacturers like Samsonite to even check out his invention. Hence, he’s hoping to license the tech to a smaller luggage/travel company:

I would envision this piece to retail for $400 to $550 depending on the model (with flexible solar capability or without). The kids model would probably be cheaper (around $250) and the bare-bones (for those who already have a carry-on case) and are interested in the kinetic capabilities would be around $300.

I’m working on making the kinetic mechanism removable (like a tape cassette) so it can go through air port security easily (the kinetic mechanism can be scanned separately). I’m also working on hand release switch that will enable the user to remove the friction between the motor and the wheels in situations where the user needs to rush somewhere and does not want to have to deal with any level of friction.

I’d buy one.

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7 Responses to Kinetic, Solar-Charing Suitcase

  1. Anonymous says:

    Check out Live Luggage, a company that has a self-propelled suitcase already on the market.

  2. back in my day we called a “solar charing” device a magnifying glass. or a day at the beach.

  3. AirPillo says:

    Certianly can’t imagine explaining this to a TSA employee. Sheesh.

    If you did, and they cleared it, one of their inspectors might eventually just steal the damned thing anyway… especially if you travel often enough to make buying this worthwhile.

    Either way, this thing is really too expensive and high-tech to ever be used as checked luggage. One way or another, airport security will punish you for purchasing this.

  4. siliconsunset says:

    Certianly can’t imagine explaining this to a TSA employee. Sheesh.

  5. DSMVWL THS says:

    Interesting idea.

    I assume he has spent some time figuring out how to make this thing tough enough to endure the tender mercies of airline baggage handlers?

    It would be a shame to invest in a bag like this and then see it come off the carousel with a cracked solar panel.

  6. I like this idea. If you carry it on you would not have to worry about the baggage handlers. These types of solar charging products are very cool. I love all the solar charging devices and own many. This technology is the RIGHT direction and we should all be doing our share. Not everyone can afford and/or have the room for powering their homes but we can all utilize the solar gadgets that are currently out there, with more to come.

  7. DSMVWL THS says:

    Interesting idea.

    I assume he has spent some time figuring out how to make this thing tough enough to endure the tender mercies of airline baggage handlers?

    It would be a shame to invest in a bag like this and then see it come off the carousel with a cracked solar panel.

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