If you have ever been on holiday with a 60lb suitcase, you know the effort that is involved in hauling it to and from departure lounges, negotiating long and steep gradients, steps, and kerbs.
A real problem for every one, until now that is. This week, Henley-on-Thames-based Live Luggage took the wraps off its new PA Series electric powered suitcase that promises to make all that misery a thing of the past, assuming you are willing to pay £700 for one, that is.
The suitcase itself has been designed so that a major part of the total weight of the case is distributed over the flat pancake wheels, which are powered when the handle is tilted. Tilt switch/sensors ensure that the wheels are only powered at certain angles – between slopes of 15 and 35 per cent – so if the case is accidentally dropped, it won’t run away from its owner. In these instances, no power will be delivered to the motors.
The handle itself can be adjusted to three height levels. The adjustment is made by lifting a simple catch in the handle grip. For air travellers, an override lock ensures that the handle remains in lock mode during the flight, mechanically cutting the power from the battery.
The PA Series cases are powered from a rechargeable 12V Nickel Metal Hydride battery pack located inside the base of the case, which also contains the electronic management control system.
Neil Armstrong, the managing director of Live Luggage, said that, when empty, a PA Series case weighs 10.6kg, just 3kg more than the standard hard luggage of similar capacity and volume.
‘However, the important thing to remember is when it has a 30kg payload it actually only feels like 3kg weight – even when going up a gradient – which means a six year old or an 86 year old can go almost anywhere with a fully loaded case.’
For the price, a user also receives a charger and adaptor with the case. Once fully charged, the luggage can travel 1.5 miles carrying 32kg.