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Ford and Agility Robotic’s New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A Person

by : Emma Rosemurgey on : 31 Jul 2020 16:37
Ford's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord

If there’s one thing we’ve learned during the pandemic, it’s that contactless delivery is a future.

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But while the contactless method looks like it’s here to stay, it looks as though the future of delivery services is about to change in an entirely different way.

Ford has teamed up with Agility Robotics to develop a two-legged delivery robot called Digit, which stands up and walks like a human being.

Check it out here:

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The headless, two-legged robot – that can unfold itself out of the back of an autonomous car – could be a sign of the future of home deliveries.

Jonathan Hurst, CTO of Agility Robotics, told Business Insider:

Our goal with Digit is to have a robot as a mobility platform that can be in human spaces, go where people go, and work with people. And there are so many applications where that’s going to be a useful and important task. One of the big ones is package delivery.

A robot vehicle that can drive on all our roads is going to be able to do that. But how do you get it from the vehicle to the doorstep? And that’s where our robot comes in. That’s what Digit can do.

Ford's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord

Ford says Digit can carry as much as 40lbs in weight, and is also able to navigate stairs and get around unexpected obstacles – but how? Digit is fitted with LiDAR sensors and several stereo cameras, the same technologies used on self-driving cars.

The autonomous vehicle should be able to transmit this information to the robot to help it navigate the best pathway to reach the front door.

Ford’s senior technical leader in robotics, Jim McBride, explained that Digit would already have all the information required for the mission before arriving at the destination, and the self-driving vehicle would be there with assisting information if the robot ran into any difficulties or obstacles.

Ford's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord's New Delivery Robot Walks On Two Legs Like A PersonFord
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‘We’d envision the autonomous vehicle to arrive at the site with all the information you’d need to know about starting a mission. We’d have the prior maps and the vehicle would be able to aid the robot when it got out of the vehicle, in knowing where it was and where it needs to go,’ he told the publication.

‘And additionally, the autonomous vehicle is full of sensors and computers that can help the robot, which is a little bit thriftier around those components. Should it run into any difficulties in package delivery, we can either solve the problem on the car or we can relay that information to the cloud for further assistance.’

There’s no information on when Ford plans to unleash Digit on the world, but whenever it does, the world of home delivery will never be the same again.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

Emma Rosemurgey

Emma Rosemurgey is an NCTJ trained Journalist who started her career by producing The Royal Rosemurgey newspaper in 2004, which kept her family up to date with the goings on of her sleepy north east village. She graduated from the University of Central Lancashire in Preston and started her career in regional newspapers before joining Tyla (formerly Pretty 52) in 2017, and progressing onto UNILAD in 2019.

Topics: Technology, Agility Robotics, Autonomous vehicles, Ford, Home Delivery, LiDAR sensors, Now, Robotics, robots, Self-driving vehicles

Credits

CNBC Television and 1 other
  1. CNBC Television

    Ford teams up with Agility Robotics to create a delivery bot

  2. Business Insider

    Watch Ford's delivery robot that walks on two legs like a human