Drive your suitcase around with Denso's in-wheel system

The X-mobility motorized wheel concept can be controlled by mobile devices

Denso showed off its X-mobility in-wheel motor system concept at the Ceatec 2014 tech expo outside Tokyo this week.

Denso showed off its X-mobility in-wheel motor system concept at the Ceatec 2014 tech expo outside Tokyo this week.

Sure, your suitcase may have wheels, but can it be driven around?

At Japan's Ceatec 2014 tech expo, automotive components maker Denso has been demonstrating an in-wheel motor system concept that can move relatively light loads around at the touch of a smartphone or tablet.

The X-mobility system consists of a platform equipped with either three or four wheels depending on the setup. Each of the spherical wheels contains a motor along with a battery, a decelerator, a controller, sensors and a Bluetooth communications module.

The device can rotate in place as its wheels use infrared sensors to communicate their position to one another. A smartphone and tablet app called X-mobi can control the wheeled system, which can carry up to 15 kilograms.

Aside from moving luggage around, it could be used as a mobile platform for shopping carts, walkers, hospital beds and compact robots, according to Denso. A personal mobility device like the Honda Uni-Cub might also be possible.

At a Ceatec demonstration, a staffer swiped a tablet linked to the X-mobility system with his thumbs, causing the platform to rotate in place and then move around.

"We wanted to bring our automotive technology outside vehicles for potential new applications," a Denso spokesman said. "We're interested in hearing the reactions of visitors and will then decide on a course of development."

The device could find use in facilities such as airports, shopping malls and factories, but would require a system to recharge its batteries, which currently last about three hours on a charge.

Denso, which makes airbag sensors, air conditioners and other vehicle parts, said it doesn't have any plans for commercializing the X-mobility platform yet, but will continue to develop it.

Join the newsletter!

Or

Sign up to gain exclusive access to email subscriptions, event invitations, competitions, giveaways, and much more.

Membership is free, and your security and privacy remain protected. View our privacy policy before signing up.

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags roboticsCEATECComponentsDenso

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Tim Hornyak

IDG News Service
Show Comments

Brand Post

Most Popular Reviews

Latest Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Tom Sellers

MSI P65

This smart laptop was enjoyable to use and great to work on – creating content was super simple.

Lolita Wang

MSI GT76

It really doesn’t get more “gaming laptop” than this.

Jack Jeffries

MSI GS75

As the Maserati or BMW of laptops, it would fit perfectly in the hands of a professional needing firepower under the hood, sophistication and class on the surface, and gaming prowess (sports mode if you will) in between.

Taylor Carr

MSI PS63

The MSI PS63 is an amazing laptop and I would definitely consider buying one in the future.

Christopher Low

Brother RJ-4230B

This small mobile printer is exactly what I need for invoicing and other jobs such as sending fellow tradesman details or step-by-step instructions that I can easily print off from my phone or the Web.

Aysha Strobbe

Microsoft Office 365/HP Spectre x360

Microsoft Office continues to make a student’s life that little bit easier by offering reliable, easy to use, time-saving functionality, while continuing to develop new features that further enhance what is already a formidable collection of applications

Featured Content

Product Launch Showcase

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?