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Spherical luggage system

Speeds up loading and unloading times.
  [vote for,

While thinking about [Kansan101]'s luggage cube idea [link] it occurred to me that spherical suitcases would offer a great advantage with loading and unloading. I must acknowledge that before I could actually post this idea [pocmloc] anno-ed a spherical suitcase concept.

A spherical hard-shelled case with a smooth non-stick surface which opened up like a clamshell would work well. A leather leash attached to two leather circles each smaller than the case but joined together would allow the user to tow them behind them from the carpark to the check-in area. One leather circle would go above and the other below the suitcase's "equator" and would be loose fitting allowing the case to rotate when towed. Once checked-in, the leash would be unclipped and the spherical case would roll by itself into the baggage handling area.

The baggage truck would elevate itself beside the plane using a scissor-lift apparatus like those on existing catering trucks then extend a chute into the plane allowing all the cases to simply roll into the plane's baggage compartment. If not filled to capacity a bit of cargo netting keeps them in place for the flight.

Once the plane is at its destination, more chutes allow for quick unloading of all the cases and the baggage collection area would look just like a bowling alley's ball return device. The whole process would be much quicker than the current manual-handling process and RFID's would allow mechanized sorting behind the scenes so the right bags go on the right flights.

There would be a bit of loss in packing efficiency on the plane but having spheres of differing sizes to fill the interstices would help greatly. The speed improvement for the loading and unloading of planes woud more than offset the cost to the airlines.

AusCan531, Dec 02 2012

Luggage cube Luggage_20cube
Inspiring idea plus pocmloc's similar anno [AusCan531, Dec 02 2012]

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       You could do cylinders as a compromise between cubes and spheres. They could have perfect end-to-end packing, and also could be arranged in a hexagonal fashion (quite efficient, even with the remaining interstitial spaces). And they would also roll, if not quite as well as spheres.
Vernon, Dec 03 2012

       Great idea! Inspired! [+]
pocmloc, Dec 03 2012

       //You could do cylinders as a compromise between spheres and cubes//   

       and give it a strange name for product identification... like "Duffel suitcase" or something. :)   

       Spheres are pretty good shapes for cannon balls... just sayin'.
FlyingToaster, Dec 03 2012

       This is a terrible idea for many reasons, but I love the utter halfbakedness of it so [+].
ytk, Dec 03 2012

       Yes, a terrible, unworkable idea, but in an interesting way. In a half-full aeroplane all the luggage would roll to the back of the cargo hold during take-off, with ensuing instability for the aeroplane and certain death for all passengers.
hippo, Dec 03 2012

       I doubt it would be any different in terms of danger than the existing arbitrary shapes you get on planes. I imagine whatever they use to secure the rounded shaped luggage that I use could be adapted to hold spheres, although I imagine towing spheres behind a truck would grind through the outer layer thereby spraying personal possessions across runways etc. I am guessing incentive could be made to encourage more granular bits of luggage, like for example, double weight allowance for small 20 cm diameter balls only,acting as a filler between the larger 30 to 50 cm balls, allowing consumers to pack their socks in one ball and t shirts in another. But good luck with getting skis into them. I would consider a name change to Amazeballs- Luggage.
PainOCommonSense, Dec 03 2012

       Airport baggage handlers would be tempted to play baggage snooker with spherical suitcases.
hippo, Dec 03 2012

       ...or bowling for strikes.   

       Not enough bees and, for that matter, jam. Besides sphere packing is not efficient, as mentioned.   

       There would be no gain in on-load, off-load times, as these luggage items are often required to transverse inclined planes unassisted. Spheres don't do that. There is even a great clip of a box parcel on a perpetual loop on an inclined plane.   

       The combination of deleterious effects of parcel mobility and inefficiency of packing makes this a perfect HB idea...
4whom, Dec 03 2012

       //all the luggage would roll to the back// Cargo net as mentioned.   

       //sphere packing is not efficient// Optimal use of suitcase construction materials though. Packing rectangular suitcases into a cylindrical fuselage isn't optimal either. As [POCS] says, interspersing smaller spheres amongst larger spheres becomes quite efficient.   

       //no gain in on-load, off-load times// Of course there would be. The baggage carts would be replaced with the aforementioned scissor-lift truck elevating the whole load above the plane before loading. Spheres are fantastic at transversing inclined planes - as long as the transversing is from high to low. (Although I wouldn't incline the airplane very much)   

       This idea is all downhill from there.
AusCan531, Dec 03 2012


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