Group 6 - SmartGo SuitTank

1. Introduction


In 2017, the global luggage market was valued at approximately 19.4 billion U.S. dollars. And the Global Luggage market is projected to grow at a CAGR of 7.3% during the forecast period (2019 - 2024). (source: Statistica, MordorIntelligence)

When travelling long distance and long time, the baggage can be very heavy, especially when we have to carry the suitcase upstairs. There are some new inventions on the market to address the problem right now, but the applicability of them needs further investigations. Besides, the products could be very costly, and few of them have the ability to climb stairs.

Your Task

How can we handle this problem? Now it's your turn to design a suitcase which could be carried along easily. Is there any other function you can think of to add to it?

Design Elements suggested:

  • GPS and Bluetooth installed, connected to APP on the phone
  • Automatic alarm when bluetooth signal disappears
  • track design to climb the stairs
  • Detachable batteries
  • Affordable price

2. Guidelines for students

  1. The teacher will divide you into a small group of 4-5 students each.
  2. Each group should learn from references or search papers on the Internet to learn some basic knowledge while every team member should show enough motivation and participation.
  3. Discuss any problem that is relevant to the subject and think of the solutions.
  4. Document the plan of your work process and your division of labor.
  5. Be happy and relaxed when you are faced with some challenges.
  6. Arrange regular update meetings between the team to make sure everyone is heard and on the same page.
  7. Prepare for your presentation through collaboration.
  8. After the presentation, refine your work based on feedback.
Subtasks Time
Think of a problem 1.5 days
Give a market research about the product

0.5 days

Find resources and information 1.5 days
Get ready for making the product 1 day
Find resources and information 1.5 days
Get ready for making the product 1 day
Refine the idea to make an easy and profitable product 1 day
Make the product depending on the refined idea 3 days
Refine and optimize the product 1 day
Prepare for final presentation 1 day
Give a final presentation 1 day

note: this table is only for your reference, you can modify it according to your plans, it is not obligatory to stipulate to the table.

3. Expectations & Requirement


  1. Clarify the problem addressed properly, explain why your idea is innovative from the rest of the ideas, and form a clear word document illustrating the problem
  2. Communicate with users( after you have clarified your target users), your peers, professionals and etc.
  3. Do market research on the product that you want to design, and investigate the market size of your potential market. Make sure you deliver a thorough profitablity report of how your product is actually needed in the market and can product any profits.
  4. Make a prototype of your product if possible, and show it with animation, videos, etc. to your classroom
  5. Refine with feedback consistently
  6. Deliver a clearly-stated presentation in front of the whole class



Factors considered for grading:

  1. Innovativeness - your idea is original and creative
  2. Real life connection - your idea is meant to solve a real life problem and there is a market for your product to be successful
  3. Core to learning - you show a degree of academic rigour and learn something new
  4. Collaboration - good teamwork and active participation of every member, also seek help when necessary from other classmates, teachers, professionals, etc.
  5. A tangible product - you devise a tangible prototype or sample machine for a presentation
  6. Peer Assessment - receive valuable feedback from your classmates within the team and out of the team
  7. Self Assessment - evaluate your own ideas and contribution


Grading Sheet:

Grading Components Weight Notes
Innovativeness 20%  
Real life connection 20%  
Core to learning 10% multidisciplinary experience
Collaboration 15% team/teacher/professional/etc.
Tangible product 15% prototype, sample, video anmations, etc.
Peer assessment 10% written feedback, no numerical grades
Self assessment 10% written feedback, no numerical grades

note: if you have any problem with the grading sheet, please contact the teacher


4. Additionals

COWAROBOT R1: The First Robotic Suitcase

90FUN Puppy 1 - Self balance & Auto follow Suitcase


5. Examples

Description of our ideas :

Nowadays, the trolley cases are bigger and heavier, which makes people difficult to drag them and hold them going upstairs. The idea we presented is a novel trolley case that can walk and go upstairs automatically. The thought to make trolley cases walk automatically has occurred before. However, the idea we presented makes trolley cases more convenient. We use caterpillar track instead of wheels, which makes it easier to go upstairs or downstairs. We also utilize solar energy to make this product environmental and economical. Furthermore, we can add some other functions (sometimes when it’s sunny or rainy, it can open an umbrella itself to protect people from the sunshine or the heavy rain.) if necessary. Therefore, we think this kind of trolley case will convenient and multi-functional.



​​Fig1. Structure of the suitcase


Fig2. Concept map


Fig3. Removable battery


Fig4. Auto-following


Fig5. Theory of avoidance


Fig6. Examples of avoidance


Fig7. Sketch map of sensors


Fig8. System of sensors


Basic steps to make the product:

1. Computer version

2. Control theory

3. Wireless connection

4. Solar technology

Depending on these basic theories, we can make the trolley case follow our steps without collision. Besides, the trolley case can absorb, store and consume solar energy. Then we do not need to use another type energy to make this “machine” run, which makes this product environmental and economical.


Our Presentation Video


Provide an answer by clicking on "Map" and then on "Add an Answer".

Results, Analysis and Discussion

1.  Cao Wenhang (15.08.2019 am 10.30.41)
Peer assessment from Wenhang Cao

What a coincidence! I thought about this problem in the process of brainstorming. In my opinion, the problem is very close to our daily life, and a efficient solution means a lot.
From the aspect of assignment design, the structure is clear and the description is concise and readable. As a student, I can easily know what I am supposed to do. The problem is very innovative because there are many potential solutions to make the carrying of suitcases more convenient, and the students can add various functions to the suitcases. However, I think it will be better to give some description of the subtasks, or require the students to make some periodic achievements. And after reading the assignment, I am a little confused about where can I find some related STEM concepts to help me design the product. Although the additional videos are provided, I think the students want more research papers or reports about this problem.
As for the example you provided, the suitcases that can walk and go upstairs automatically is amazing! The descriptions are readable and the figures can help us to understand how it works. But I personally have some small tips for you. Firstly, the market research is not enough. I think stating the market size clearer, establishing user model and competitive analysis are all essential. Secondly, we can understand the STEM concepts more easily if you can give some descriptions of the figures. There are so many sensors and other hardwires, but the reader may be confused about the details. And honestly speaking, I think the solution to cut down the price is also needed, because the price of these materials may be expansive to realize the functions.


2.  Qin Hong (18.08.2019 am 10.34.58)
peer assessment - Hong Qin

1. Overweight suitcase is a common problem in life, and it can be improved with  regular technology embedding, so it is very suitable for students' innovation training.  The assignment has all the elements required for a PBL, including time planning, necessary guidance such as market research, innovation landing points ,etc

However, in order to be a unique PBL topic, some improvemets should be made on this basis, such as the environmental protection funtion mentioned in solution. Environmental protection is a hot research topic all over the world  and the integration of this into the topic will give the topic a deeper meaning. 

2.  The tank structure  is an excellent idea, it provides an efficient solution to the suitcase problem. From my point of view, i think there are some points about the product needed to be considered. 

Firstly,  would the embedded battery make the suitcase overweight ? if the battery is too heavy, it will bring inconvienence to the user even during normal towing.

secondly,   too many electronic modules embedded inside  will test the durability of the suitcase. How to ensure that the product proposed can have a similar service life as ordinary luggage is a problem. 


3.  Cao Wenhang (18.08.2019 pm 04.38.50)
Comment by Shiyu Pan

The PBL project about suitcase is practical and meaningful. The problem mentioned encounters by tourists and people carrying heavy luggage. So I really appreciate your idea, and it means a lot.

As for the assignment, I think it is a complete description for the tasks and requirements. Besides, the problem has moderate difficulty, challenging but within reach. It would be better if there more professional additions to guide students to research, such as paper.  Besides, mature and accomplished products have existed in the market which really enhances the difficulties of innovation.

As for the example, of course it is innovative.  As it combines the concept of product with tank, it would be useful for climbing the stairs. Facilitating sensors also enables users to have a more convinient experience. In general, the PBL work is wonderful. However, wheels would increase the weight of suitcase, which makes it easier to exceed the weight limit. Besides, it would be more readable for students if there are more  description of how the sensors work .Finally, the product has the feature of high cost with these technological parts. So there's need to cut down the cost.

History of edits
Edited BY: Zhe Han Edit Date: 2019-08-14 20:20:18
Edited BY: Zhe Han Edit Date: 2019-08-14 11:48:27
Edited BY: Zhe Han Edit Date: 2019-08-14 11:43:15
Edited BY: Zhe Han Edit Date: 2019-08-14 11:41:10
Edited BY: Zhe Han Edit Date: 2019-08-14 11:37:38
Edited BY: Yujie Zhang Edit Date: 2019-08-14 08:59:25