When the robot knocks on your door
Automobile manufacturer Ford is set to test whether parcels can be delivered without human employees: autonomous delivery vans do the driving while a robot plays the role of the parcel carrier.7 Jun 2019 Roland Freist
Ford and robotics start-up Agility Robotics are jointly working on a new parcel delivery concept . An autonomous delivery van from Ford drives the parcels and a robot called Digit to the customer’s address. Digit then gets out and carries the parcel right to the front door.
Digit resembles a humanoid robot without an upper abdomen and is apparently a further development of the Cassie model from Agility Robotics. It walks on two legs, can climb stairs and can also cross open terrain. Unlike Cassie, it also has two arms and two rubber balls as hands that enable the 1.50 m tall robot to carry packages weighing up to 20 kg.
Digit is controlled via the autonomous vehicle. It uses its sensors to create a map of the environment and sends it to the robot by radio. The robot is equipped with lidar and stereo cameras for orientation. Ford and Agility Robotics are currently planning a pilot project that should start in 2020.
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