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NEOPO is a self-driving suitcase for international students, aiming to make their transition of living in a new country easier and encourage them to pack lightly, travel lightly.

The ultimate solution to achieve sustainability is to teach people sustainable behaviors. LAYER is a design studio in London aiming to design for people's near future life. This is a school project trying to imagine the future of travel for international students, inspired by JOHN ( designed by layer ). 


Near future concept design, Research, Nomads Design, Mobility Design

School Project

14 weeks

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International travel is exhausting


Empty apartment is hard to adapt


Usually, the apartments in the US will not be furnished. Upon arrival, international students will not have essential furniture like a bed, table, or chair. Forcing them to spend extra money on hotels. This experience, together with the feeling of travel fatigue, makes us feel a sense of mental loss.

Also, due to the issues occurring when coming to a new country, such as lack of driver licenses and furniture delivery time... International students have to extend the time staying in hotels. The cost will be around 500$.


Trend 1: Autopilot / Self-driving

Ever since the autopilot concept become popular with the succeed of the Model 3. The application of self-driving has been widely spread in different industries. One of the application is for travel to reduce the travel fatigue, especially for international travel.

Trend 2: Nomads Design


Urban Nomatic Lifestyle was inspired by the living condition of the home less, which is quite flexible. I am also inspired by this lifestyle and are trying to bring a more flexible lifestyle to the international students.

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User Experience

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The scene happens around 2050 where smart glass plus mix reality are seamlessly integrated into our daily life. Self-driving suitcase will greatly ease the travel fatigue and make international journey less exhausting.

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The scene happens around 2050 where smart glass plus mix reality are seamlessly integrated into our daily life. Self-driving suitcase will greatly ease the travel fatigue and make international journey less exhausting.

Packing at Home

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Charging Station

The battery capsule of the NEOPO is secured on the bottom of the suitcase. You can access it effortlessly with a heavy push.

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Locking Indicator Light

As soon as you finish packing. The locking indicator light will inform you whether you have locked the suitcase in place.

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Waiting in Airport

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Carryon E-device Storage

At the back of the NEOPO, there is a storage for carryon electronic devices, making them convenient for TSA check. The size of the storage can contain one 15 inch Macbook pro and an Ipad.

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Charging Port

As a bonus point, NEOPO also offers fast charging for carryon electronic devices, including one type - c port and one USB port. The power is directly supplied by the central battery capsule.

Walking on Streets

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Blue Tooth Connection

Using your phone as a controller. NEOPO will follow you while traveling. You can check the blue tooth connection by looking at the indicator lights on the handle side.

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Handle with Motion Sensor

There is a motion sensor embedded in the handle to track your hand motion at a certain distance with the help of front cameras. You can activate it by pressing down a button. Once activated, the handle will follow your hand for safety reasons.

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Segway Technology 

As a self-driving suitcase, NEOPO uses segway technology to ensure enough stability.

Crossing Road

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Turning Indicator Lights 

With the turn indicator lights, the user can be worry-free when hurrying to catch a flight or crossing roads among crowds.

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Security Cameras

For safety reasons, the NEOPO has in total of 8 cameras to track the movements of the owner and passersby.

Arrive Apartment

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Work Station Mode

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When not using the suitcase, the cover of the NEOPO can be used as a temporary work station where you can work or eat, equipping you with a flexible working environment like a digital nomad.

Durability and Sustainability 

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Even after your IKEA furniture delivery arrives, the cover of the NEOPO can still be used as a laptop desk on bed, the 5.3 inch hole on the cover is designed to contain normal size cups or water bottles. 

Concept Validation

Design Thinking

As a society, we are running out of resources, and the number of products discarded every day is no longer sustainable.


What if we can bring more value into product experiences, and reduce the number of products/waste we are generating overall?

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Qian is an international student who went to the US for college studies. It is her first time to study in the US, she needs the help of transition between China and the US


Mao packed many articles into his suitcase. However, after arrival, he found he brought many articles that could be purchased locally.

Insight and Design Opportunity

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Apply the tech of segway and autopilot to ease the exhumation of carrying luggage during travel.

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Extend the longevity of products by intentionally design a transformative product whose features facilitate a second function. The transformation of this product or its component is to suit a second purpose after the first has expired.

Pain points and User Needs

Mode 1: During Travel

Mode2: After Arrival

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1. Overloading causes multiple weighting and adjustments.

2. Overloading makes your Journey become heavy.

3. Overloading makes your unpacking  become complicated,

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1. Luggages take space and are almost useless upon arrival

2. The apartments in the US do not offer good light condition in bedrooms.

3. Without essential furnitures, such as desks and shelves, some articles are randomly placed on the floor, creating a mess.

Marketing Opportunity


1.09 million international students are enrolled in US in 2018

Branding: LAYER


LAYER aims to use existing or emerging technology to improve the lifestyle for us both now and near future. 


The products designed by LAYER focus on material innovation, tactility, sustainability, and colors. They believe the innovation of materials can make a huge difference.

Design Inspiration: Nomads Design


Urban Nomatic lifestyle was inspired by the living condition of the homeless, which is quite flexible. Yet, with Winfried Baumann's 13-year period exploration of urban nomadism. The homeless, after all, is not the only category of urban nomads.  I am also inspired by this lifestyle and try to bring a more flexible lifestyle to the international students.

Check out the link below for more information about the Nomads Design:

Prototype and Key Sketch

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In the beginning, I went in the wrong direction, which made its secondary function ( as transitional furniture) more important than the primary function ( as suitcase ), I adjusted the direction quickly after I realized it

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Different Views

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Front View

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Back View

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Side View

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The main storage space of NEOPO is divided into 2 parts. Between the 2 storage spaces, there is a slidable divider.

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