There are millions of purchases made online every day. While shopping online is convenient, what isn’t so convenient is getting those purchases delivered to your home. Ford Motor Company is working on a fix for that inconvenience by combining autonomous cars with robot delivery.
Working with Agility Robotics, Ford has developed Digit, a two-legged robot designed to “approximate the look of a human.” What that means is that Digit has two arms and two legs, and is bipedal.
In other words, it walks and can carry packages just like you do. Digit can lift and carry packages weighing up to 40 pounds (you’ll still have to call your brother-in-law to help with those heavier packages). Digit can also go up and down stairs, walk over uneven terrain, and avoid obstacles without losing its balance.
Considering how many things need to be avoided or overcome just to get to your front door, that’s no small feat for a robot carrying your online purchase.
When Digit isn’t walking to or from your door, it folds itself up for easy storage, so it can fit in the back of the delivery vehicle until it comes to the next stop. Speaking of the vehicle, Digit works in conjunction with an autonomous vehicle, which is already gathering data on the surrounding environment.
By sharing that data with Digit, the pair work that much more effectively.
As more and more companies, like Ford and Agility, explore opportunities for automation, we’ll see more inconveniences eliminated from our lives.