Ford is thinking mobility beyond its traditional vehicles.
The automaker is working with Agility Robotics to develop a two-legged robot that can walk like a human and carry packages to the front door.
The anticipated problem being solved here is getting a package from a self-driving vehicle delivered those last few steps from the car to a customer’s home.
The robot, called Digit, was designed by Agility Robotics out of lightweight material and is capable of lifting packages up to 40 pounds, according to a blog post by Ken Washington, vice president, Ford Research and Advanced Engineering and chief technology officer.
Digit can go up and down stairs, walk through uneven terrain and react to being bumped without losing its balance and falling.
“As humans, we take these abilities for granted, but they become extremely important when engineering a robot to navigate the nuances of various environments,” states Washington.
The walking robot can fold itself up for storage in the back of a vehicle. When the vehicle arrives at its destination, Digit can grab the package from the vehicle and carry out the final step in the delivery process.
Digit is equipped with stereo cameras and location sensors for basic scenarios. If it comes across an unexpected obstacle, it can send an image to the vehicle, where a solution can be configured.
Now Digit has to wait for the arrival of self-driving vehicles that are in the actual business of delivering packages to homes.
I can hardly wait for the movie---"Digit"--- where "Digit" plays a U.S. secret agent foiling the nasties who are stupid enough to drive their own getaway cars. Digit simply communicates a stop order via "audio" to the nasties' car transmission and it obligingly halts leaving the bad guys high and dry. What happens next is anyone's guess. Is Digit armed and dangerous or does he merely fold up and stow himself away---ready for the next caper?
“As humans, we take these abilities for granted, but they become extremely important when engineering a robot to navigate the nuances of various environments,” states Washington
WHY???????? Mr.Washington, you're a bag of wind, with no substance.
The woman, the child , and the dog , look ever so innocent, but they know that package is theirs for the taking...............
MORONS............What are we accomplishing here? Besides saving the wages of a USPS/UPS/FedEX job?? The package still has to come form somewhere, a building, a truck,
of some sort. The robot makes the delievery better, HOW??
The customer just wants it on their porch. So when a theif hyjacks the boxes, does it pull a weapon or tazer to protect the delivery.
STUPID.....................just plain stupid. I see robots for Combat or Bomb threats, but
You developers that are so proud of this will eleminate the jobs that provide revenue to even order the packages.
One more thing. is Ford laying off 7-23,000 people to replace them with robots?